Friday, October 13, 2017

This 'n' That

Thought for the day:  Compassion is language the deaf can hear and the blind can see. [Mark Twain]

[image courtesy of morguefile]
Yes, I agree with Mr. Twain, because compassion is communicated heart-to-heart. I'm all in favor of compassion and understanding, and I wholeheartedly applaud the laws which were (finally) enacted to level the playing field a bit for people with certain disabilities. A caring society should do no less than to provide equal access to all citizens whenever possible.

And yet... there's THIS...

I honestly don't know what to think about a newspaper article I read earlier this week, so I'm gonna throw it out to you guys, and see what you think.



Movie enthusiast Paul McGann asked a Cinemark theater in Pittsburgh to provide a tactile interpreter so he could see the movie Gone Girl. [FYI: Tactile interpretation involves placing one's hands over the hands of an interpreter, who then uses sign language to describe the movie's actions, etc.] The movie theater denied Mr. McGann's request, and the gentleman took them to court. As of now, an appeals court has ruled that according to federal disability law, theaters are required to provide specialized interpreters for blind and deaf patrons. This case will likely go through more appeals before a final decision is made, but what do YOU think?

[image courtesy of morguefile]

Is it reasonable, or even possible, for every movie theater to hire interpreters? How would they even do that? Have a number of them on call and summon one to the movie when needed, or would they have to pay a flat rate to keep interpreters available, whether or not a patron ever requests their services?  Mr. McCann uses American Sign Language, but would it be sufficient for theaters to hire ASL interpreters? How about the patrons who use a different sign language...? How cost-prohibitive would this all be? Could this signal the end of movie theaters altogether?

Seriously, I'd love to know what you think about this matter.

And now... on to THAT...

[Dot and Dash]
It's no secret that Smarticus and I have two very spoiled and most-loving-in-the-whole-world cats. Lots of you guys have much-loved kitties... and dogs... too, and I know you're every bit as attached to your critters as we are.

Another newspaper article highlighted a different sort of furry companion that's expected to hit the markets next summer. An invention of Japanese company Yukai Engineering, Qoobo has fur, a twitchy tail, and even vibrates like a purring kitty, but it doesn't eat, or ralph up hairballs all over the house, or gnaw on your plants, or need a litter box... because it, um, has no head. It's essentially a round 2-pound pillow with a tail.

Some outraged pet owners say it's ridiculous to think anyone could ever love one of these things, and it's insulting to think it could ever replace sweet little Fluffy or Fido.

And YET... I believe this gizmo will find a niche. Not for those of us who are able to love and care for our pets, but how about for certain nursing home patients (or others) who may not be of sound mind or body? Wouldn't it maybe provide them some of the valuable serenity and calmness ordinarily found by holding and petting a real living, breathing purring kitty? What do YOU think?


Now that I've covered THIS and THAT, it's time for me to scat. (ahem) Dot and Dash are seeking my services...

                                       Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

65 comments:

  1. I think Qoobo might have it's advantages in care homes, where people need sensory helps, but I can't imagine having one at home instead of a real pet. I can understand that handicapped people want to join in every day life, too, but I do think you can't always have everything! Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

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    1. I agree with you about Qoobo. It could be very beneficial in certain circumstances, but I hope I'm always able to love and be loved by the real thing. Very pragmatic response on the first story. Thanks. You have a super weekend, too. :)

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  2. I am quite certain that there IS a market for Qoobo. People with allergies, people in areas where pets are banned, people who are simply unable to care for the real deal. For myself I hope to hang on to the version with a head, (and its sometimes inconvenient digestive system) for as long as possible.
    I am still thinking about the other issue. Accessiblity is eminently desirable and wonderful, but...
    I wonder what the demand for tactile interpreters is. And whether there are alternatives...

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    1. I'm with you. I love the adorable head rubs and nose kisses our girls give us and hope to continue collecting them as long as possible.

      I don't know, but it wouldn't SEEM the demand would be very high, which is what makes the entire issue a dilemma to me...

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  3. I think someone needs to design a QOOBO with a head, for those who like to scratch a cat behind the ears and feel the velvety softness of that space between the ears.
    I also think Mr McCann needs to research which movie theatres in his area provide tactile interpreters and which days and times they are available. If the courts agree his demand is reasonable, all movie theatres everywhere will jack up their prices to cover this extra cost and staying at home with a DVD instead will become much more appealing to most of us.

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    1. Great point! A lot of us love to scratch cats on the head and under the chin... and rub noses and foreheads with them...

      Another good point. IF theaters must provide the interpreters, it would be a good compromise for them to only offer them on certain days of the month. It probably wouldn't suit the schedule of every single person who might want to use an interpreter based on personal convenience, but it would be more reasonable than forcing theaters to keep interpreters available at all times. Or maybe patrons could "schedule" a time they want to see a movie, and the theater could arrange to have an interpreter available then... on an "as needed" basis... Hmmm, that could work. :) Thanks.

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  4. Hi Susan - count me out from the Qoobo lovers ... but I'd rather have a real one. I feel for Mr McCann - but I'm not sure ... one of those unrealisable dilemmas I feel ... However he shouldn't be cut off from experiences ... I'd have thought he'd be better off bringing his own interpreter ... he'd know how they work etc.

    Interesting ... because lots of how tos ... from both sides - consumer and the interpreter ... but nothing immediately sprang out re what the deaf-blind person might expect from life, from support etc ..

    A very sad situation to find oneself in ... good to have to think about ... but I'll take a cat or dog - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary.

      Providing his own interpreter does sound like a viable option, but I have no idea how expensive that might be, so he might balk at that idea. (But I'm sure theaters would embrace it!)

      Cheers back atcha.

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  5. Greetings Susan. Some of us might ourselves suffer ailments in our future years, and might appreciate a bit of culture from theatre going, etc. I agree with Hilary, on taking their own interpreter, with the government footing the bill! I like my pet Jack Russell too much, the real deal is a nice furry feel with much petting without regretting! I'm sure there's a market for Qoobo. Best wishes to you. A well written piece that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Greetings, Andrew. Ah-HA, yet another interesting wrinkle... have the patron provide his own interpreter, but let the government foot the bill. Might work, but I don't know if the party currently in charge would go along with that here.

      HA! Petting without regretting... I like that. :)

      Bye!

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  6. Although my sympathies go to those with a handicap, I think having an interpreter might be best if the person brought his own along?

    As far Qoobo goes, whatever floats your boat. I like heads though.

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    1. Bringing one's own interpreter seems to be the most popular idea. Smart, too! The cost might be prohibitive, though. (I have no idea...)

      HA! Yeah, me, too. I'm rather fond of heads.

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  7. I agree this movie goer should bring an interpreter, movie theaters might offer a list of them, purely as a kindness, not necessary to make it a law, they could also allow for the appointments to be made, but the expense would be on the recipient. Giving access is the point isn't it?

    As for the fake kitten, why not a head!!!! I think it'll be a hit, if they add the HEAD!!! Especially for folks who can't or aren't allowed a pet. Cute idea, but gosh darn it, put a HEAD on that pet!!! :)

    Have a great Friday the 13th - Lucky day for me!!!

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    1. Yes, giving access is the point, but according to law, individuals aren't responsible for the costs incurred by businesses when they build ramps and provide specially-equipped bathrooms and the like, so interpreters may be under the umbrella of accommodations already mandated by law.

      Yes, agreed. Qoobo could get ahead and see its way to better success if it had a head. (Eyes help!)

      HA! Me, too. Lucky thirteen.

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  8. Certainly time and money limit the ways we can be compassionate. There is so much that could be done if more money was available. There are those that are rich that don't share it at all with others. There billions stack up when they could put them to good use. Limited as I am on funds though I can always take time to show I care in small ways, but even those can be great things in the long run. I have had lots of pets in my day but no longer do. I can't imagine anything replacing the real thing. Interesting topics you shared today and they do make one think. Love seeing your fur babes.

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    1. Showing you care in small ways is a very big thing. You can't put a price tag on acts of kindness, and sometimes a smile alone is enough to brighten someone else's day.

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  9. Who would want that thing? It's weird.
    It does seem a bit much to expect theaters to provide interpreter. Those people should bring their own.

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    1. Well, I don't think anyone would want it who's cognizant enough to call it "weird." However, I think some lonely folks in nursing homes with Alzheimer's or the like would love it.

      Providing one's own interpreter seems to be the consensus of opinion.

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  10. Most everything has a place, so it could find a niche in people in nursing homes or even as a stepping stone for those that want a pet.

    As for the theaters, pffft that would be way too expensive. If one wants to see a movie in such a way, they should have to hire their own. It sucks, but it is not an essential service to live. It is for their entertainment and so they should have what is needed for it. You don't whine when you walk out onto a sports team that they never gave you equipment. You have the gear to play or you don't play. It isn't feasible to cater to everyone for entertainment purposes, sadly.

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    1. Yeah, I agree it should find a niche in nursing homes, but I'm not so sure about a steppingstone for people who think they might want a pet. It's way too far away from the real thing for that, I think.

      Very pragmatic. You're right... seeing a movie isn't a necessity, even for a self-proclaimed movie buff.

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  11. That Qooboo is very strange. I wouldn't want one, despite the fact that you don't have to clean a litter box or deal with hairballs.

    Not sure what I think about the movie interpreters. It's a complicated issue and it would be a nice service to provide, but how practical is it?

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    1. At this stage of my life, I don't want a Qoobo, either. (And I sincerely hope I never decline to the point where it's a good option for me to have one.)

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  12. I took care of a number of elderly people who were attached to their stuffed animals and carried them around all the time. I suspect many people would enjoy the robot cat and treat it as a real animal. As for the movie theaters, I think it's reasonable for blind and deaf people to be able to see movies in their own way, but it should be arranged in advance. Many places have a pool of PRN workers. Theaters can do it, too.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Ah HA! And now we get verification from someone who knows firsthand about the value of those "pets" in nursing homes.

      Your solution for the interpreter issue is A-1, too. (You're all right, lady... )

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    2. Why, thank you, my dear. Would you care to see the etchings in my apartment?

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    3. I dunno. Will there be wine? And cake?

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  13. Little Sir Echo, here. At first blush I thought Qoobo plain creepy. But yes, I'd love to see every resident of a nursing home/memory care facility gifted with one of his/her own. Toward the end of her life and largely immobile, my mother's hands were never still ... anxiety driven. I wonder if this wouldn't even provide solace for (small) orphaned animals.

    As for tactile interpreters? Sounds like another case of the tail wagging the dog.

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    1. Dame Echo, it does sound like a Qoobo might have given your mom some peace. Your suggestion that they be made available to all people in nursing homes is a good one.

      There's a lot of that tail wagging the dog stuff going around these days...

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  14. I completely understand the need for interpreters for the hearing impaired, but common sense tells me that every business cannot possibly provide this service, I wish they could, my suggestion would be for a hearing impaired or blind person going to a movie to take an interpreter with them, this only makes sense to me and would be easier than starting a lawsuit.

    Not too sure about the cat, it would be beneficial for those in nursing facilities with conditions like dementia to help them to relax, I say to add a head also, that would make it less creepy.

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    1. Both of your comments make good sense. Unfortunately, "good sense" doesn't always have a seat at the table when it comes to filing some lawsuits.

      As for the cat, a head would definitely lower the creep factor.

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  15. Howdy. I'll pass on the Qooboo. You know me.
    As far as the interpreter, it's pushing the limits for a business. Everyone is a snowflake - tough to please every single person.
    You made us think today, and it's Friday. My brain is on weekend, but my body is at work. Have a good one

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    1. Howdy. Hey, at least THIS cat couldn't scratch you, hiss at you, or ralph in your shoes. :)

      Sorry for making you think. My bad. Have a super weekend, kiddo.

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  16. Maybe those interpreters could be licenced and get a free (or discount) ticket if they are accompanying a vision impaired customer?

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  17. Call me Mr. Grumpy (many people do), but I think unreasonable demands, endless "equal" rights, and idiotic lawsuits have gone way too far. Rationality seems to be a thing of the past.

    Life is tough and unfair for all of us - and most especially for the handicapped - but all the frivolous laws/lawsuits in the world aren't going to change things.

    Qooboo???

    I have three cats for my roommates and can attest to the fact that they can be a helluva lot of trouble. But they're also completely adorable, entertaining, and (yes) affectionate. I wouldn't trade them for a Qooboo...or even three Qooboos....

    That photo of your two felines is great!!!





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    1. ....but I sure hate cleaning those damn litter boxes!!!!!

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    2. Mr. Grumpy, I completely agree with you about frivolous lawsuits and unreasonable demands. Sometimes, we simply can't level the playing field, no matter how much we may want to do so.

      YES! Cats are most definitely adorable, entertaining and affectionate, and I'd much rather clean out the litter boxes every day than wander around the yard with a pooper scooper to clean up after a dog. (The ONLY thing I don't miss about no longer having a dog.)

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    3. You're right, Susan - when choosing between the two evils, I'd much rather clean a litter box than have to go outside in the rain at 3:00 a.m. so the dog can poop.

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  18. Like the idea of the Qooboo but put it inside of a more pet looking bundle.

    As for the interpreter, I say no and I am handicapped.
    Sometimes you just have to remember you just can not have everything given to you. Ramps and bathrooms are for everyone. I am sorry about his wait to "see" the movie but I have watched movies that have the running commentary on what is happening.
    Maybe he will not see all movies at the first run but I do not either.
    Steps in theaters are impossible for me to climb. So I wait till a movie is just about to be yanked and then go see it. I am very slow pulling myself up the steps. I have only seen 1 movie this year.
    It has to be a good day when I do not have a headache, my eye is not swollen and feel I can even with my walker be able to get from the car to the show. Maybe I should ask for the people movers like the airports and elevators to whisk me to the row I want to sit in.

    I feel that you must do you best with what you are handed. Work around it.
    Movies are great (or used to be) but they are not air you breathe, water to drink food to eat and pets to cuddle. Work it out.

    Have a fun Fall weekend !
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I think we all agree about making that Qoobo more attractive.

      As far as the interpreter, I bow to your wise opinion. You should know... and you do. Thank you.

      You have a terrific weekend, too. Cheers.

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    2. Not sure how wise my opinion is but it is mine.
      I do what I told my children "work it out, you will find an answer".

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    3. It's definitely wise, sweet lady. :)

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  19. Couldn't they at least have put a head on the ridiculous thing?

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    1. HA! Yeah, that seems to be the popular consensus of opinion. :)

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  20. I think it would be impossible and expensive for theaters to have to be responsible for keeping interpreters on call. But wouldn't that be a great service someone who knew sign language could offer? Or film showings with the captions might be a nice solution.

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    1. Yes, it would definitely be a terrific service if people who knew how to sign were willing to do it on a voluntary basis. I'd think captions would be a viable solution, too. Works on the home TV sets...

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  21. I'm with those who suggest closed captions in the films themselves. For the visually impaired, I am uncertain --perhaps headphones describing visual action, like "Now Rick Blaine watches wistfully as Ilsa boards the plane to Lisbon". There are ways to communicate light and sound that don't require theater outlay beyond extra wiring to some seating areas. Sound and synchronized captions can be provided by the film makers. As to purring pillows, I have not yet formed an opinion, except the absence of joking around with them --as I do with real animals-- could be a problem. Like with dogs, I say, "There is a market for high-grade rubber, so behave or I'll sell your nose."

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    1. Your ideas for how theaters could accommodate sound reasonable and doable to me, dude. Hopefully, the courts will offer similar clarification.

      HA! Yeah, we talk to our critters, too. They even talk back... if only we could understand them.

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  22. Compassion is sadly underrated these days. Compassion, empathy, understanding. We all need them. Urgently. Great post.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Yes, we definitely need all of those things. Thanks.

      Greetings back atcha.

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  23. Qoobo? Oh yes, I want one for myself. Except mine would need a head. And legs. Two of them. Can I ask for a few more, just very little changes? Two arms? Strong arms, of course. No fur. And my Qoobo would look a bit like George Clooney. Or maybe Sean Connery. And of course my Qoobo would be tall. Never talk back.

    And he'd do the dishes and the laundry and scrub the floor. And with artificial intelligence being what it is, my Qoobo would know when I'm running low on chocolate or wine (or whatever) and he'd communicate with Alexa... NOW we're talking!

    Not sure about the interpreter in the movie theater. I have to think on that for a bit. What if I need to see a movie in Spanish? Or Chinese? Or German?

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    1. HA! That's hilarious. If you come up with a Qoobo like THAT, I think there'd be a LOT of takers!

      You're right. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all interpreter. Lots of variables.

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  24. Not to be crude, but Qoobo reminds me a lot of the whole sex robot thing. I mean, I get why they exist, but I just really don't see how they're an adequate substitute for the real thing.

    -This stated while my cat is in my lap, headbutting my chin, because I'm talking to you instead of her.

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    1. For sure, Qoobo does have a certain ick factor, but I still think it'll serve some impaired people quite well.

      My cat is more polite. She's merely camped in front of the monitor... for now.

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  25. The robo cat thing is easy, friend Sue ... as many times a renter cannot rent an accommodation cuz no pets allowed ... I have a real life cat (Theo) and am lucky enough to have him with me, but if circumstances were different and I needed a place to live where no pets are allowed ... I would opt for a robocat, and then I would go out dere and feed every feral cat/ and or person I could find ... Okay, topic number 2 ... as you might or might know, I do not watch TV, which is a lie cuz I do ... with sound off though ... weird, I know, but do I look like I care? ... as watching TV with sound off is a sanity saver for me ... as it gets your own brain to work so you do not feel trapped and manipulated ... it does not matter whether it's news, movies, documentaries ... if you watch the visual media without sound, you will find, that it is like reading a book ... and your mind is free to regard or disregard ... meaning that you have the power to let in and keep out ... haven't found not one person so far, that agrees with me ... in fact, my friends think dats just crazy ... do I look like I care? ... smiles ... Wishin you another very happy crazy day on this planet, friend Sue. Love, always, cat.

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    1. Your solution re the robo cat sounds reasonable to me, but I'd be more inclined to go along with feeding the feral kitties (which we already do...) than I would to cuddle up with that pillow with a tail. However, if I were in a nursing home where I couldn't have a real pet, I reckon I'd be willing to settle for that. Better than nothing, right?

      I must confess to being guilty of muting our television, too. Not because that's how I choose to watch it, but because the constant noise drives me nuts. My hubby likes to have it on all. day. long. as "background sound. When he leaves the room, he tells me I can "put on whatever I want to put on," and that's my cue to ditch the sound and enjoy the peace and quiet until he returns. :)

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  26. It would be nice of the theater to provide an interpreter, but probably very impractical in many cases.
    A mechanical tribble!

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    1. HA! If they're like tribbles, better only get one of them! (That was one of my all-time favorite Star Trek episodes. )

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  27. Great post, Susan! Yes, we need all these traits in these times now.

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  28. I kind of hate robots in general so I know I'd hate the Qoobo, but Janie's comment about the people in nursing homes with stuffed animals, etc, made me think it could be a great thing in that situation. If something improves the quality of life for vulnerable people it can't be a bad thing.
    I honestly don't know what I think about the interpreter. I've never heard of a tactile interpreter to be honest. But I know I've seen ads for special showings around here of movies with an ASL interpreter provided and that seems like a great thing.

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    1. It's very cool that theaters in your area already offer special showings with an ASL interpreter. If there's anything similar to that around here, I haven't seen any promotions for it.

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