Spotlight on A Barrier-free Hearing Accessible Event: “In Organic We Trust”

In Organic We Trust” Shown at Northlake Unitarian’s Looped Auditorium Friday January 20, 2013

Imagine walking into a performance of “Rent” and being able to hear clearly with the push of a button? Sometimes, all I want to do on a rainy night is go to a movie and be able to hear! I want to share an awesome movie experience with you!

Upon arriving on this freezing foggy evening, I was warmly greeted with a hot cup of tea and a cookie. Selecting a seat inside the center aisle, about four rows back, I was positioned perfectly to test the hearing loop system. The film was introduced to the dozen or so attendees without amplification. Fortunately, I was sitting close enough to speech-read the presenter as she announced “…Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and eventually denigrates to a racket…” As an organic gardener, I was most intrigued, by the lure of this compelling documentary.

Once the lights dimmed and the film began, I switched my hearing aids from M to M/T to T and back, before comfortably settling in at the full T position. It’s been some time since I’ve “watched” a movie without reading the closed captions. Within seconds, I realized I would be able to rely fully on my Telecoil for complete understanding.

In Organic We Trust, Filmmaker, Kip Pastor features a series of narrative interviews with consumers, experts, and farmers on what “organic certified” really means. While this format was great in terms of telling a cohesive story, frequent changes of the filming environment often creates inconsistencies in audio recording. For a person with hearing loss, these slight alterations can make it difficult to catch every single word. Quality audio prevailed in this lively documentary; permitting stable audio throughout. In interviews where the speaker faces the camera, speech reading is possible; though I didn’t need to speech read to understand. Even dialogue and narrative that occur beyond the camera’s eye come through clear and crisp. Filmed with overture music, background noise, machinery roar, and foreign accents In Organic We Trust duplicates real life listening situations. These same noise filled environments impact daily communication for me and 36 million Americans with hearing loss. With the loop system, and a push of a button on my hearing aid, I was able to clearly hear and understand all of the speakers in the film.

I can’t begin to describe how awesome it was to sit back, relax, and actually understand a movie without fumbling with a headset/neck loop or having to read captions. It’s empowering to participate in a community gathering without having to ask permission to hear.

Each month Northlake Unitarian Church holds a Social-Justice Movie night. Previous showings include: Climate Change is Simple, Hot Coffee, and The Line; engaging films showcasing today’s hot topics. A discussion circle follows the film, with a call to action considered. Though I couldn’t stay for the discussion of In Organic We Trust, I’d like to think the leader would have facilitated the discussion to keep me in the loop! All sound that goes into the microphone is transmitted automatically through the loop. By using the microphone and passing the microphone to each group member who wished to speak, everyone’s voice would be sent clearly and directly to my hearing aid and to yours as well. Stay tuned to find what’s on tap for the next Social-Justice Movie Night coming up 2/22.

Do make time to see this enlightening film! Check out the trailer complete with closed captions! Take a moment to, let them know you appreciate captions, and consider signing the petition.

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