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Arizona Citizens Seek Blind Justice

Enjoying the latest blockbuster flick can be a challenging experience for blind or deaf individuals.

However, a group of Arizonans are hoping to change that by requiring all AMC Entertainment theaters in the state to install devices that would aid people with sight and hearing disabilities.

Representing several citizens, the state of Arizona filed suit against AMC in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona on Dec. 1, accusing the movie theater giant of discrimination.

"AMC Entertainment Inc. does not provide sufficient auxiliary aids and services for the class of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and the class of persons who are blind or visually impaired to allow for full and equal enjoyment of movies shown at their theaters," the complaint states.

Specifically, the suit claims AMC theatres do not offer enough captioning for the deaf nor equip sufficient theaters with "descriptive video" services for the visually impaired. The case cites an example of a plaintiff who was unable to enjoy "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" at an AMC theater because the theater lacked the devices necessary to accommodate his visual impairment.

According to the complaint, only about 4 percent of the screens AMC owns and operates are equipped to provide captioned moves and described movies. However, according an AMC spokeswoman Melanie Bell, AMC has at least one screen at each of its Arizona multiplexes equipped for use with captioning and description systems.

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