Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Peterborough Community Theatre to Install System for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons

[From the Peterborough Community Theatre:]

Peterborough Community Theatre to Install System for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons

Peterborough – In the very near future, blind and visually impaired moviegoers will be able to enjoy films at Peterborough Community Theatre thanks to Descriptive Video Service (DVS) technology. DVS delivers descriptive narration via infrared listening systems sent directly into headsets without disturbing other audience members. The descriptions provide narrated information about key visual elements such as actions, settings, and scene changes, making movies more meaningful to people with vision loss.

In November 2014, Peterborough resident Steve Yerardi approached Peterborough Community Theatre owner Carol Nelson about this technology. Steve’s son, Stephen, is blind and when Stephen wants to see a movie, they have to drive up to an hour away to visit a theater equipped with DVS technology. According to Stephen, "Instead of me relying on my mom trying to interpret the movie and translate to me all in the same moment, this magical invention allowed me to participate equally and independently along with all the other movie goers! If only there were more opportunities closer to home that would allow me to enjoy this experience even more!”.

“When Steve Yerardi mentioned DVS to me, I had never heard of it before and I began looking into the technology and costs associated with it. After learning more about it, I felt it was critically important to provide this service to the blind and visually impaired in our area, especially since DVS technology is only offered at movie theaters in Concord, Hooksett, and Portsmouth,” commented Nelson.

To help offset the cost of installation ($3,000+), Nelson is seeking out donations from various service organizations including area Lions Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and others. “As a small business owner, this is a significant expense to undertake, so I’m reaching out to the community for support. In return, those that contribute towards the DVS system will be acknowledged on the Theatre’s web site, weekly e-newsletter, and on-screen prior to every movie for one full year,” said Nelson.

“We have a real gap in assistive services in this area of the State and I would love to be able to offer DVS for the blind and visually impaired so they too can participate in a simple activity the sighted take for granted every day. I anticipate having the DVS system installed in time for the summer blockbusters,” continued Nelson.

The Peterborough Community Theatre is open Wednesday through Sunday. Show times are available 24/7 at 924-2255 and www.pctmovies.com.