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View Full Version : Not Disney, but disability advice needed


yoopermom
01-31-2007, 12:39 PM
I waited until midweek to post this, because it was a very uncomfortable situation for me, and I would prefer not to get flamed (although it is only 4 degrees above zero here:goodvibes )...

DS and I went to the movie theatre last weekend, and decided to see separate movies. I was all alone in my theatre when the previews started (a strange feeling!), but soon thereafter a young woman in a wheelchair entered with a companion. I was sitting almost dead center in the theatre, and they were in the back row, where the wheelchair space is. As the preview showed action sequences, the young woman became very vocal (not words, just sounds, but quite loud). Her vocal reactions would ebb and flow as the screen's action did, but did not stop. About ten minutes into the movie I was very distracted by this, but didn't want to move to the front, since I thought it would be obvious why I was doing so, and I didn't want to insult her. I would NEVER have talked to management, because she has every right to be there, just like I do. After another ten minutes of not being able to follow the story due to the noise, I got up and quietly crept out (watched the rest of DS's movie with him, was he surprised!).

I'm a teacher of many years, and not prejudiced in any way, but I just couldn't think of any way that I could enjoy the movie in that situation. Maybe they waited and chose it thinking it was empty? I don't know. I just hope I didn't offend them by leaving early. Any suggestions on how I should have handled this? TIA!

Terri

Cheshire Figment
01-31-2007, 01:01 PM
I would disagree with you a bit on this one.

You had every right to enjoy the movie undisturbed. She had every right to enjoy the movie, without disturbing others.

If her sounds would not have been as bad if you had moved forward I would have moved forward. This is not an insult to the person, but letting them know that her actions were making it difficult for you to enjoy the movie.

The purpose of ADA is to allow a disabled person to have the same enjoyment of something as a person without disabilities. It is not to allow the person with a disability better enjoyment than a person without disabilities. In this case her enjoyment drove you out.

If her only disability was being in the wheelchair you would not have even noticed, but her noises which were clearly reactions to what was going on was the same as if someone was explaining to a child what the scenes meant.

yoopermom
01-31-2007, 01:07 PM
I know I had the "right" to enjoy it, but I was just really happy for her that she seemed to be "getting into" it so much (it was Stomp the Yard, by the way, a very physical and exciting movie). I can go see it any other day of the year, but maybe this was a big treat for her (and/or her companion), and I wouldn't have wanted to ruin that. I'm so blessed to only have minor physical problems myself, that I would hate to rain on the parade of someone who has such major ones. (That's me, the big softie...)

Thanks, though!
Terri

BillSears
01-31-2007, 01:25 PM
This is a tough one. I hate any talking or other noises at the movie theatre. But this person seemed to not be able to control themselves... :confused3

If I could not control my outbursts at the movies I'd make the decision to not go out to the movies and to instead wait for the DVD. The entire situation is unfair to everyone but I feel the best way to handle it is to not ruin the enjoyment of the movies for others due to my behavior.

SueM in MN
01-31-2007, 08:56 PM
One of the theaters around here used to have a 'cry room' at the back of the theater. It was a fairly sound proof room with chairs that could be re-arranged, lights on a dimmer and a large one way window in the front wall (from inside the theater, it looked like a mirror on the back wall). The room was very useful for people with children who could not settle down. We spent a lot of time in that room watching movies because we could watch the movie, DD could drive her wheelchair around, make noise and not bother anyone. They removed the cry room when they switched the theater to stadium seating. So much for progress.

We usually go to movies that have a lot of children in the audience, so my DD (who sometimes does get kind of loud if she's excited) doesn't really 'stick out' as the only noise maker.

If it was my DD in the theater with you, I would not have felt at all bad if you moved to the front of the theater. I imagine you are right that they probably went at a time when they thought there would be no one (or few) people there. Actually, the girl's noises may not have been so noticeable if there were more people in the theater.

flsunshine66
02-01-2007, 08:53 AM
Bravo Terri, your one of the last .... truely wonderful... people in the world.

Your empathy towards this girl is very heartwarming. It must have taken alot for her family or friend to take her in the first place, and you not making it a bad experience for her was very kind in an unkind world.

My hat is off to you.

BIG HUGS for YOU !!!:grouphug:

LindsayDunn228
02-01-2007, 09:05 AM
This is a tough one. I hate any talking or other noises at the movie theatre. But this person seemed to not be able to control themselves... :confused3

If I could not control my outbursts at the movies I'd make the decision to not go out to the movies and to instead wait for the DVD. The entire situation is unfair to everyone but I feel the best way to handle it is to not ruin the enjoyment of the movies for others due to my behavior.

What he said. I think it's incredibly rude for people to do this in theaters. If someone cannot watch a movie without disturbing other viewers, then maybe they need to stay home and watch it on DVD/VHS. I know I will get flamed for that, but so be it.

I would have had no problem moving.

yoopermom
02-01-2007, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the hugs flsunshine (I wish you could send some of your name to cold chilly MI!). There's always another day for a movie. Maybe I'm weird, but I really only like movies in a theatre vs at home because of the dark and the quiet and being able to "escape" into the story. Like Sue said, if it would have been a kid's movie, the noise wouldn't even have been noticeable, probably, over the general roar from the other kids!

And, odd coincidence, in the *tiny* town we live outside of, there is still one of those old fashioned, one screen moviehouses (from the middle of the last century), that has two crying rooms. Unfortunately, when the current owner upgraded the sound system, he wasn't able to do it for these rooms, so it sounds like you're watching a movie under water, but at least it is available for families with small children, etc.

Thanks again for all your thoughts.
Terri

flsunshine66
02-01-2007, 07:55 PM
Your Very Welcome....

Your kindness was extraordinary. Not many people would give up their show for another's pleasure.
Remember this,.... The kindness of your gift to her will be a wonderful memory for you forever. The movie would be a fleeting memory.

:grouphug:

Purple Princess
02-02-2007, 12:21 AM
God bless you, Terri, for being so kindhearted. :love1: As you can see not everyone thinks as you do. I would have moved down to the front I suppose if I had been in that situation. Or do as you did and allow this young lady to enjoy her night out.

What many here may be forgetting is that some people who are vocal like this girl may also be mentally impaired. She understood enough to enjoy the movie or maybe she just liked action scenes, per 'se, but didn't actually understand what the movie was all about.

Being that my daughter is severely disabled I understand this sort of thing. I have a dear friend whose daughter cannot speak and makes "noises". She is mentally impaired as well yet she enjoys going to movies and concerts as we all do. They cannot help that they are disabled and can only grunt, and having a night out at the movies may be a scarce thing in their lives.

Let them enjoy one of life's pleasures that we may take for granted.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing those severely afflicted happy about something. When my daughter is happy and excited about something, nothing means more to me than that. Her life is so limited as is.

LindsayDunn228
02-02-2007, 06:55 AM
What many here may be forgetting is that some people who are vocal like this girl may also be mentally impaired. She understood enough to enjoy the movie or maybe she just liked action scenes, per 'se, but didn't actually understand what the movie was all about.


I'm sure I'm one of those people you are referring to, and I am not forgetting she may have been mentally impaired. I still think it's rude to be disruptive in a movie theater, disabled or not.

Cheshire Figment
02-02-2007, 10:51 AM
Being that my daughter is severely disabled I understand this sort of thing. I have a dear friend whose daughter cannot speak and makes "noises". She is mentally impaired as well yet she enjoys going to movies and concerts as we all do. They cannot help that they are disabled and can only grunt, and having a night out at the movies may be a scarce thing in their lives.

Let them enjoy one of life's pleasures that we may take for granted.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing those severely afflicted happy about something. When my daughter is happy and excited about something, nothing means more to me than that. Her life is so limited as is.
There is nothing wrong with a person with any disability, physical or mental, being in a situation where they can enjoy what is going on.

However, if their actions (such as loud noises during a show or concert) are disruptive of the entertainment and ruining the enjoyment of others who are also paying for their enjoyment that is where the line should be drawn.

Yes, if there is a mentally impaired person the guardians (parents) have as much responsibility to others where they are taking the disabled person as they do to the disabled person.

And Lindsay, I agree with you completely.

LindsayDunn228
02-02-2007, 01:50 PM
There is nothing wrong with a person with any disability, physical or mental, being in a situation where they can enjoy what is going on.

However, if their actions (such as loud noises during a show or concert) are disruptive of the entertainment and ruining the enjoyment of others who are also paying for their enjoyment that is where the line should be drawn.

Yes, if there is a mentally impaired person the guardians (parents) have as much responsibility to others where they are taking the disabled person as they do to the disabled person.

And Lindsay, I agree with you completely.
Thank you and well said yourself, CF :)

GroovyWheeler
02-09-2007, 05:54 PM
When my DH and I went to go see Charolette's Web, I sat in my wheelchair next to a girl much younger than me, who'd have the same reactions as the girl that you'd describe. She was also a wheelchair user too. She had her toys to keep her occupied, though, but would lose interest in them after 3 seconds. I remembered this particular girl from when I volunteered in one of the special-education classrooms at my old elementary school, and even got to work with her a couple of times. It was a lot of fun to work with her, because she saw me as someone who was just like her (as we were both wheelchair users), and got excited each time when the teacher told her that I'd be working with her.

Samantha

michelle9343
02-22-2007, 10:35 AM
I think that it is a difficult situation. I have a child like you explained and I chose not to go to a movie with her. Every few years I try a "kiddy" movie and will say when you go to a movie full of kids her sounds are bearly heard. ALso if I chose to leave ,the movie theater would not give me my money back, so I could see not wanting to leave.