I am 28 years old and hard of hearing. I have struggled with this my whole life but only recently have I discovered how incredibly insensitive others can be in regards to my hearing.
In addition to the many things in everyday life that anyone with any degree of hearing loss finds difficult is the simple task of going to watch a film at the cinema.
I know it seems like something silly but sitting in a cinema surrounded by people laughing (or in some other way reacting to what has been said on the screen) when you have no idea what’s going on because the film doesn’t have subtitles can be very frustrating and difficult to deal with.
It’s very hard to find showings of new films at cinemas with subtitles. It seems to be limited to either the midnight showing when it’s released and then if you’re lucky one midday midweek showing.
I contacted Vue cinemas about this and asked why they don’t provide more subtitled showings. They responded by basically telling me that their research had shown no need for them. What research? Because clearly they hadn’t asked anyone who required subtitles. I find this appalling, I felt like I had been told I was irrelevant because I wasn’t in the majority.
While Vue were the only company I contacted, as their cinema is in my home town, I would like to point out that they aren’t the only cinema myself and friends have checked for subtitled showings and all companies were just as bad.
Why on earth any company would be allowed to discriminate in such a way I can’t understand. I realise there are other things happening in the world and this isn’t something huge, but sometimes it’s the little things.
I would very much appreciate it if you could publish my letter so that maybe others in my place who feel the same know that it’s not just them and that it’s ok to be upset about it.
Katie Quayle, by email