US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Alexander Praises Tennessee Businesses’ Efforts to Improve Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

Highlights efforts made by Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment and Vanderbilt University to increase access and opportunities for individuals with disabilities

Friday, May 17, 2013Liz Wolgemuth 202-228-4729

Washington, D.C., May 17 – At a hearing this week of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on addressing the challenges facing individuals with disabilities and removing barriers, Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) recognized efforts among Tennessee businesses to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Alexander said: “The best way to increase access for individuals with disabilities is to ensure that the private sector and government are working closely together. I am proud of some good examples in Tennessee. The American Foundation for the Blind, for example, recently presented the Regal Entertainment Group based in Knoxville, with an Access Award for its work to improve movie theater accessibility. The Regal Entertainment operates one of the largest theater circuits in the United States - more than 400 theaters offering the Sony Entertainment Access System. So, congratulations to Regal. This system is available for any individual that wants captioning or descriptive audio, and the system is not visible or audible to other moviegoers.”

Alexander added: “Others businesses and organizations, such as Vanderbilt University, are taking the lead in helping to make entertainment and other enriching cultural endeavors more accessible for individuals with disabilities. I look forward to hearing about how we can work together – public and private – to improve accessibility of entertainment technology from movie theater to mobile devices.

Vanderbilt University hosts the Tennessee Disability Pathfinder, which is a statewide clearing house of disability-related resources. This includes Tennessee art and music programs across the state for individuals with disabilities.

Since 1994, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has sponsored exhibits of art by individuals with disabilities to highlight their diverse range of talent. 

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