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Teen Sues Airlines Over Non-Captioned In-Flight Movies
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 20, 2003

HOUSTON, TEXAS--Eighteen-year-old Sam Bynum is tired of airlines that provide in-flight movies without captions.

So the high school senior that has severe hearing loss sued Continental, American, United and several other U.S. carriers last week. In the suit, Bynum claims the airline industry is violating the Americans with Disability Act by not providing him with a reasonable accommodation. He hopes the lawsuit will be certified as a class action, so it will help the more than 25 million other airline passengers in the country who experience severe hearing loss.

"To see a film and not understand what is said is like not watching a film at all," Bynum's lawyer, Marian S. Rosen, told the Houston Chronicle.

Whether or not the airlines will have to make the movies accessible might depend on the cost of doing so, explained disability rights attorney David George. If the cost of adding captions is too high, it might be considered unreasonable to expect the airlines to retrofit each plane. If, on the other hand, the solution is a rather inexpensive software program, the airlines may be ordered to do so to provide the accommodation, George said.

The airlines declined to comment, stating that they do not discuss pending litigation.


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