The Grand Ole Opry remains steeped in a tradition of sound, but the 83-year-old country music program will offer captions for the hearing impaired for the first time Saturday. About 450 people participating at the Hearing Loss Association of America convention in Nashville this week will attend on the the Opry's evening shows and will be able to follow along with captions on large projection screens. Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Hal Ketchum, Little Jimmy Dickens and others are set to perform.
Vice President and General Manager of the Opry, Pete Fisher, said the show is somewhat of an experiment and captions may be used again in the future. "It is somewhat of a paradox our show that has a 80 plus-year history and presents over six decades of music each week to be on the cutting edge of technology." Fisher said. "But we've been committed to employing state of the art technology."
Nancy Macklin, director of events for the association, said the group asked the Opry about the captioning since many convention attendees wanted to see a show. Macklin said captioning at entertainment venues, including sports stadiums, is growing.
The association estimates nearly 36 million people in the U.S. have some degree of hearing loss. "The technology has been around, but more and more venues are using it as hard-of-hearing people are requesting it," said Macklin. "They(Opry) now know it exists and it's available."
(Story courtesy of Yahoo News/Associated Press)
Nice move on the part of the Opry. I am sure that the words to the various songs will be on the big video screens, or maybe on one of the screens with the hearing impaired people sitting in one section. With many of their elderly patrons in possibly this situation, it will be interesting to see if the Opry does it again.