Movie theater chain AMC Theaters has settled a disability discrimination lawsuit with the State of Illinois. Under the terms of the lawsuit, the theater chain will provide assistive technology in its theaters to allow disabled consumers to enjoy movies too.
This is not the first time that California disability discrimination lawyers have found AMC Theaters accused of discriminating against the disabled in the construction and design of its movie theaters. In 2007, the chain settled charges filed by the Department Of Justice that its theaters did not comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department of Justice accused the chain of having movie theaters that did not have any provision for the hearing and sight-impaired, and lacked captioning services.
In this latest lawsuit, the Illinois Attorney General decided to file a lawsuit against the movie chain when a disability rights group informed her that the theaters were not compliant with disability requirements. Now, under the terms of the settlement, AMC will begin the process of equipping its theaters with assistive technology to make sure that people with hearing and vision disability are also able to enjoy the movies.
These initiatives will be in place by 2014, and all movie theaters that are part of the chain in Illinois will come with captioning services as well as audio description devices. Almost all AMC facilities will come with the new assistive technology.
This is a major victory for people with disabilities in Illinois. Before this settlement, only 21 out of the 246 movie theaters in the state had assistive technology like closed captioning for people with hearing disabilities, and only 10 facilities offered audio description services.