Friday, October 11, 2013

Access for All at BMFI

Big changes and improvements are happening here at Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Construction is underway, and now that we’ve reopened our first renovated theater, we're excited to unveil some of the accessibility enhancements that are changing the way our viewers experience movies. Some Assisted Listening Devices, or ALDs, are available in theaters throughout the country, but BMFI is on the cutting edge in our region with what will ultimately be three different types of hearing devices: closed captioning, headphones with enhanced audio, and the “loop.”

The USLinc Closed Caption Receiver is a simple, portable way to enjoy closed caption subtitles for any film. This device fits snugly in your seat cupholder, and the adjustable goose neck allows you to position the caption box exactly where you want it. It's battery operated, so there are no cords to tangle with. The text is crisp, clear, and easy to read without being harsh in low-light settings. Since it uses infrared sensors, it won't pick up interference from other theaters or radio transmitters.

Bryn Mawr Film Institute is currently the only art house theater in the region that offers this closed caption system!
Thanks to the innovative hearing system known as The Loop, real movie sound can now be transmitted right to your hearing device. The loop is a sound system that broadcasts directly into hearing aids and implants, meaning that it serves you by using your own device, which is already customized to your exact specifications. Most new hearing aids come with Telecoil technology that can pick up on signals sent from a loop system. How can you tell whether your hearing aid is loop-equipped? According to, if your hearing aid has an obvious "T" setting on the program switch, you can probably use it with the loop system. However, if you really can't tell, the best way to find out is to ask your audiologist.

We are looking into aids for the visually impaired as well.

As always, BMFI is fully wheelchair accessible. There is wheelchair-accessible parking in the lot behind the theater, as well as wheelchair seating and restroom access. There is an elevator with access to the second floor.

We hope that these enhancements will help you to enjoy a day at the movies at BMFI!

Kerri Grogan is BMFI’s Staff Assistant. She studied animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and moonlights as a dice-rolling, video gaming geek, blogger, and comic artist.

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