Hearing Loss Convention

The Hearing Loss Association of America hosts an annual conference where thousands of HLAA members come together to learn more about education, advocacy, awareness, and support about hearing loss issues across America and in the world.  This year, it will be held in the Washington DC area on June 16th through 19th.   Lucy plans to blog about her experiences at the conference.

I intend to bring back my experiences at the conference this year to our July 2011 meeting, where the Kansas City chapter attendees will speak to our time in Washington DC and what we learned from the conference.  There’s a whole host of workshops and sessions that will be vital to share with all of you, so I’ll be taking copious notes.

The Research Symposium topic this year is on “The Impact of Noise on Hearing” which for me is pretty interesting, as I just spent last Sunday at a NASCAR race and it was LOUD, and I noticed while a not-insignificant number of people wore hearing protection, I’m sure many more went without!  There is even an article on About.com about NASCAR races and hearing protection – http://nascar.about.com/cs/nascar101/a/hearingprotect.htm, hat tip to Kelly.  In the article, it states you should wear ear protection, even if you feel you look dumb wearing it.  The author then goes on to say, “If you’re afraid that they look dorky, would you prefer to have to wear a hearing aid?”  Thanks, author!

There are also a number of events outside of the Convention Hall that I’m looking forward to participating in.  There will be a young adult scavenger hunt that will allow people with hearing loss from ages 18-35 to connect and network, as there is a perception that HLAA caters more to older people with hearing loss, and young adults don’t feel like they fit in at HLAA.  Also, there’ll be a theatre performance of Wicked at the Kennedy Center, and it will be captioned for our enjoyment, which I am very much looking forward to watching.

Looking forward to bringing back more information for everyone!


May is Better Hearing Month…Have You Had Your Hearing Tested Lately?

Have you or someone you know put off a hearing screening because you’re worried about what the results could be?

I’ll admit “yes” to that question…for myself. It’s challenging enough having a hearing loss without being reminded of it when I step into an audiologist’s office. The idea of sitting in a sound-proof booth, putting on headphones, and attempting to hear a series of beeps is nothing short of daunting for me. Number one, I can only hear about 40 percent of those beeps in one ear and 80 percent in the other. And two, with the progressive nature of my hearing loss, I’m likely to see a decline in what I can hear from year to year. It’s like going to the doctor to see how much worse things have gotten.

So I find it interesting that I’ve become such an advocate for getting hearing tested. A few things have convinced me that knowing where my hearing stands is a must:

1) The only way I can get help for my hearing is to seek it. Repeat after me: Audiologists are our friends, not our enemies. Otherwise, I would still be without hearing aids, asking every John and Jane Doe to repeat themselves 20 times ’cause I didn’t catch their mumbling. Go to the doctor, get that hearing test, and find out if everyone really is mumbling.

2) With knowledge about my hearing loss, I can help others. I’ve become an advocate for annual hearing screenings with my three children. And that senior adult friend of mine that refuses to get hearing aids? She has become more comfortable with the idea since I’ve shown her the set I wear. How many lives are affected by just one person? If you wear hearing aids, show them off to everyone you meet and see what a statement you’ll make with people.

3) Those I’ve helped can help themselves and others. It’s the pay it forward effect of hearing loss awareness. The people I educate about my hearing issues are more likely to take better care of their ears, visit the audiologist, and bug the John and Jane Does they love to get their hearing tested.

Owning up to my hearing loss sounds so simple when I blog about it. Yet how come it took two years after my progressive loss diagnosis for me to get hearing aids? Part of it was my pride, lack of knowledge, and scarcity of hearing loss role models around me. It wasn’t until a woman moved next door to me that I finally embraced the loss I’d been dealt. This new neighbor greeted me with a warm smile, handshake… and a set of hearing aids behind her ears.

Please don’t put off getting your hearing tested. Then be sure to share the results with others. You could be helping them.

Job interviews

A picture of two professionally dressed women sitting across from each other at a desk, like at a job interview

I wanted to thank all of you who came to the movie social at The Whole Person on Saturday, April 16, 2011.   It was a fantastic time, I got to make some new friends and talk to them about their hearing loss and challenges they face in their lives.  I was talking with one person about her frustrations in finding a job and when to reveal her hearing loss in the interview process, and it kind of turned out like this:

1) It may not be beneficial to reveal your hearing loss right away.  However, if you want to get any accommodations or support during the interview and after, you’ll have to talk about it at the right time.

2) If you need an interpreter or other accommodations during the interview, you’ll need to mention those services at least when you schedule the interview.  Does this present a risk of the employer suddenly becoming evasive and trying to drop you as a candidate?  Yes, but this becomes less so when you make it clear that you know you do the job just as well when these accommodations are met.

3) Give a brief example of the kind of work you do well when you have the access you need, like “Just make sure you’re facing me and speak clearly, and with that, I have been able to be an A student in all my classes” or “With a sign language interpreter from ABC interpreter agency, I was able to save my last company $100,000 in taxes on their IRS filing.”  This gives you another opportunity to “sell yourself” to the job recruiter above people who don’t have hearing loss.

Job interviews are all about selling yourself.  While I don’t claim to be an expert in that field, it’s clear that people with disabilities get the short shrift even in the best of times – and with this down economy and reports that thousands of applicants are lining up for each job opening, it makes it even harder to stand out of the throng.  HLAA can advise and advocate for your accessibility needs – if you ever have a question about job accessibility, even outside of the Kansas City area, please contact us at hlaakc@gmail.com.

KC HLAA Advocates for Looping

Technology allows those of us with hearing loss to enjoy live events. It is the Kansas City HLAA Chapter’s desire to advocate for this technology locally.

The chapter’s steering team recently submitted a letter to executives with the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts under construction in downtown Kansas City. The performing arts center, which is scheduled to open later this year, has the potential to appeal to the hearing loss community with the addition of looping technology.

Looping  is an induction system that magnetically transmit sounds to listeners’ hearing aids or cochlear implants. The system provides a crystal-clear transmission of sound from a stage’s microphones directly into hearing aids or implants.

Without this technology, a person with hearing loss has difficulty at live performances because distractions, such as background noise and audience chatter, are not easy to differentiate from what is happening on stage. In a recent survey of Kansas City HLAA members, 47 percent do not attend musical performances as often as they like for this reason. Sixteen percent never do. However, 47 percent stated they would attend a live event as much as possible if they could understand words and music on the stage.

KC HLAA leaders will follow up with Kauffman executives within the month to discuss the letter and the need for looping technology. Any updates will be posted on this blog.  

A copy of the letter to Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is viewable here.

A copy of a looping article, written by David Myers, is viewable here.

A Petition for Equal Access

Originally posted at:


By Shanna Groves, KC HLAA Chapter Steering Team Member

If you could write a letter you knew would be read and followed through by a business’ Person in Power (PiP) who is sensitive to your hearing loss, what would you write? Feel free to use the following letter, but be sure to change any reference to yours truly.

Dear PiP,

I am a hard of hearing person. While I once frequented the halls of your movie theater/place of worship/music venue/sports arena, my progressive hearing loss has made it increasingly difficult to participate without accommodations. For the record, I wear hearing aids, lipread reasonably well, and have family members who double as my personal listening assistants (I ask, “What did he or she say?” They repeat highlights of what he or she said.) From outside appearances, I blend in with the crowds who attend your events. It would seem I enjoy myself just fine. Except when I can’t hear well, which is every time I attend your events.

What does it mean to be hard of hearing? First, my eyes are my ears. I rely on watching people’s lips move to understand what my ears can’t comprehend of their speech. I am not culturally deaf and know very little sign language. Thus, sign interpreters are ineffective for me. My hearing aids increase the volume of what I hear, but they don’t always help me to understand what I am hearing. In a crowded room with a lot of background noise, hearing aids have difficulty focusing on the sounds I want to hear. Without some additional accommodations, I often sit at your events, idly taking in all the sights and sounds–without making much sense of it.

 What can your facility do to accommodate the thousands of people like me? Consider one or, preferably, both of these things:

Captions – Real-time text of your performance, printed on a screen within comfortable distance of me and/or the main stage. There are various methods for this: captions printed directly on a screen above or below the stage; LED captions printed from the back of the facility and reflected onto a shiny device you provide me with; broadcast captions via the Internet that are accessible through my phone or facility laptop; special glasses you provide me that reflect captions onto my lenses.

Looping – An induction system you provide that magnetically transmits sounds to my hearing aids. This system, in essence an in-the-ear loud-speaker, can provide listeners with hearing aids or cochlear implants the ability to receive a crystal-clear transmission of sound from your stage’s microphones directly into their aids or implants.

From a marketing standpoint, your facility could benefit from the inclusion of one or both of these accommodations. Besides helping hard of hearing people and their families, imagine the interest your act could capture in the special needs-sensitive media and with certain special interests groups; not to mention the publicity it could gain with groups devoted to cutting edge technology. No matter what the cost is of providing captions or looping, isn’t the added business from good publicity worth it?

Business talk aside, imagine how good you would feel being able to provide your loved one, who may have a hearing loss, the chance to fully engage in your event. You would no longer have to repeat what someone said from the stage or what was announced over loudspeaker. You both can sit back and relax, able to enjoy the show without your beloved’s unwelcome intermissions.

Pretend that you are me. I am a person nowhere near middle age, having to rely on my 10-, 6- and even 3-year-old children to repeat important information I can’t hear well at your facility. What child should have to be a listening interpreter for her mom?

Take the burden off mine and my children’s shoulders, and provide me with the hearing accommodations I need. In the end, wouldn’t you do the same for your own mom?



Help KC HLAA By Answering Short Survey

The Kansas City Chapter of HLAA is working in the community to advocate for what people with hearing loss need. Among those needs are more captioned films at local movie theaters and hearing assistance at live events.

Please take a moment to complete the short KC HLAA survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/576Q66W. There are only 6 questions. All those participating may enter a drawing to receive a $10 gift card of your choice (Starbucks, Amazon, Target, etc.). Deadline is March 7, 2011.

HLAA Webinar on Bluffing

Today, Thursday, February 24th, there is a webinar at 7p.m. E.S.T. called “The Masks of Hearing Loss (Bluffing 101).” The lovely Gael Hannan will be running the workshop. If you haven’t heard of her, she is awesome. She was one of the speakers I had the privilege of listening to when I attended the HLAA national conference in Milwaukee last year. She is hilarious. You’ll love her!

Topic Summary

People with hearing loss are masters of the bluff…or so we think. We use a variety of methods to try and convince people we’re following the conversation when, in fact, we haven’t got a clue what’s going on. We even try to bluff our way through visits with the audiologist and hearing instrument specialist! But our sneaky tricks tend to backfire on us, often landing us in trouble.

The Masks of Hearing Loss (Bluffing 101) is a refreshing exploration of how and why hard of hearing people bluff, the telltale signs of bluffing, famous bluffers, and how drop a bad habit and become a better communicator.

About Gael

Gael Hannan is a writer, actor and public speaker who grew up with a progressive hearing loss that is now severe-to-profound. She is a director on the national board of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and runs The Hearing Foundation of Canada’s award-winning Sound Sense hearing awareness program for elementary students across Canada. As a passionate advocate for people with hearing loss, her work includes speechreading instruction, hearing awareness workshops for youth and adults, and sensitivity training for corporations and community groups.

Gael is a sought-after speaker for her humorous and insightful performances about hearing loss, including her signature shows Unheard Voices and EarRage! She has received several awards for her work, including the Consumer Advocacy Award from the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

The Webinar is FREE! You can register for it here.

Can’t watch the webinar at 7p.m. tonight? Don’t worry! Transcripts are also available on the HLAA website. You can view all their webinar transcripts here!

H&R Block and hearing loss access

Just saw this in the morning: “H&R Block agrees to improve access for deaf”


H&R Block is headquartered in downtown KC, so this is heartening to see – even though I admit I like their online tax software and have never had to go in person to get help with my taxes since I moved to KC.  Greater accessibility and options for hearing loss customers is a GOOD thing.

HLAA Webinars

Once a month, HLAA hosts online webinars that stream audio with captions and even powerpoint slides, providing a wealth of information.  Earlier in January, the webinar was on “Hearing Research: New Devices, Treatments & Remedies You Can Expect” and it’s a fantastic topic for those of you looking for the newest in hearing loss research.

Want to check out the next one at 7pm ET on February 24th, 2011 about “The Masks of Hearing Loss (Bluffing 101)” by Gael Hannan?” I highly recommend her attending as her workshop was also held during the 2010 HLAA conference and was a fantastic eye-opener for me. Register today at http://hearinglossassociation.acrobat.com/feb-2011/event/registration.html!

AMC to Begin Digital Captions this Week

Melissa Johnson with AMC Entertainment Corporate Office in Kansas City shared this update with KC HLAA about the status of captions at metro AMC theaters.

Captioning Update from AMC’s Melissa Johnson

Thank you for your patience during this time.  I haven’t had much to report until today.  We have good news!  I have status on Barrywoods (North Kansas City), Mainstreet (Downtown Kansas City) and Studio (Olathe, Kansas).

Barrywoods is SO close.  All installations are complete and the digital keys for Harry Potter have been requested.  What is digital keys?  They should arrive later today or tomorrow.  At that time, the enabled content for Harry will be tested over the next couple of days to ensure the systems are working properly.  If all runs through smoothly, tickets for HP may go on sale as early as Monday for the rest of the week (through Thursday).  If this happens, a full schedule for that theatre will be loaded starting next Friday (a week from today).  As an FYI, Century City’s unit did not operate properly, so they have additional installations –  this could also happen at any of KC’s theaters.  Keep your fingers crossed that all goes smooth.  

Mainstreet is currently working on installing equipment.  ETA unknown.  

Studio – today the final installation for house #19 was complete, but has not been inspected.  We anticipate asking for content next week and testing over next weekend (similar to Barrywoods).  Hopefully Friday 1/28 will be day 1 of full schedule, provided all testing is positive.

As for your question, we often review our pricing strategies, so I will forward your feedback on.  At this time,  I would not anticipate a change or an exception.  This is a request that I cannot follow up on – I can simply share your feedback.

I will watch the schedules and continue to communicate with our Project Manager and film programmers/bookers about the theatres above and advise when I have additional information. 


There’s still time to “tell it to the DOJ!”

This is so important that I’d like to second to what Moshie said last week on HLAAKC:

“If movie captions are important to you, tell the DOJ!”

HLAA is all about advocating for greater accessibility for everyone.  When movie captions are available, not only do those with hearing loss benefit, but people who read better than they hear, or are more familiar with hearing a foreign language, or kids who are learning to read.

I grew up loving to read.  Not because of my hearing loss, but because written words are often more powerful than a spoken word.  Where else can you instantly determine the meaning of a phrase, just by reading the word used?  Where “bare” and “bear”, each having many uses and meanings when said phonetically, become clearly apparent in writing: “Barefoot in the woods” or “Bear foot in the woods.”

Maybe I’m being silly, but I think the point is clear – support captions today by writing to the US Department of Justice today!  The deadline is January 24, 2011 – don’t let your voice go unheard!

Tell it to the DOJ!

Are movie captions important to you? Then help out HLAA and testify to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with your thoughts! Deadline for comments is January 24th, so there is still plenty of time. Below are details from HLAA’s campaign.


Twenty years ago, HLAA members came out in force when it was time to comment on rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our comments helped shape the way the rules were written. We need you to do that again to push for captioned movies.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published a notice that it is considering changes to its regulations to require movie theater owners and operators to show captioned movies. DOJ is inviting written comments from members of the public.

If movie captions are important to you, tell the DOJ!

The DOJ proposes to require movie theater owners and operators to show films with closed captioning. DOJ proposes to limit this requirement to no more than 50 percent of the films shown, and DOJ is willing to give owners and operators up to 5 years to get to the 50 percent mark.

HLAA believes that “full and equal enjoyment” of services under the Americans with Disabilities Act means that people with hearing loss must be provided the kind of accommodations that would allow us to attend any movie anytime. For people with significant hearing loss, that means 100% captioning. We believe that an across the board industry cap of 50% is arbitrary and inconsistent with the law.

HLAA’s position on movie captioning is:

  • All movies should be made accessible to movie goers with hearing loss though captioning.
  • People with hearing loss should be able to see any movie at any time on any day.
  • There are many ways to caption movies today. HLAA does not specify the method used to caption the movie so long as it provides effective communication.

DOJ is seeking comments in response to 26 questions. The entire document with all the questions can be accessed at http://www.regulations.gov. You can reply to some or all of the questions. We suggest at a minimum, that you respond to DOJ Question #1:

  1. DOJ is proposing that the percentage of movie screens offering closed captioning be set at 10 percent after one year and increased 10 percent a year until 50 percent is reached. Does this approach provide a proper balance between providing accessibility to consumers, on one hand, and giving owners and operators time to acquire the necessary equipment, on the other hand?

Send your comments to the DOJ today!

Comments sent by U.S. mail must be postmarked and electronic comments must be transmitted on or before January 24, 2011.

  • State the question(s) you are responding to. You can focus all your comments on question #1 or add more.
  • State why you are interested in responding. For example, that you have a hearing loss and cannot attend movies without effective closed captioning.
  • State what you want to see: 100% captions, 5 years or less, no later than January 2016.
  • State how lack of captions has impacted you. State why you think 100% captioning is needed.
  • Thank the DOJ.
  • Sign your name.

Use this link to see our Sample Letter. You can use this Sample Letter as a guide to draft your own letter. It’s best if you do more than just copy and paste this sample letter onto the DOJ form. We believe you will have a greater impact if you write about your own experience going to the movies, and tell the DOJ why movie captioning is important to you.

We did it for the ADA. Let’s do it again for movie captioning. Send your comments to the DOJ!

Thank you!
Brenda's Signature 2
Brenda Battat
Executive Director

6 Reasons to Be Thankful for KC HLAA

It has been a blessing working with the many volunteers of the HLAA Kansas City Chapter. Each have helped make 2010 a strong year for HLAA in Kansas City. Without these helpers, our city wouldn’t have as much support, publicity and advocacy for hearing loss issues. Among the ways countless volunteers have blessed local persons with hearing loss this year:

1. Made the 2010 HLAA spring picnic a successful and exciting experience

2. Helped develop and grow a thriving new blog for the KC HLAA chapter, local community and beyond

3. Raised awareness about cochlear implants and hearing aids by proudly wearing theirs

 4. Brought attention to having weekly movie captions at area theaters

5. Supported the Kansas School for the Deaf by walking and raising funds for its fall walkathon fundraiser

6. Partnered with the Deaf Cultural Center in Olathe and The Whole Person in Prairie Village on outreach and social activities

For all of this, and for being a personal support, I THANK YOU.
Cheers to a wonderful HLAA year and for a prosperous 2011!

Shanna Groves
Steering Committee, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Kansas City Chapter

5 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays with a Hearing Loss

By Shanna Groves, LipreadingMom.com

Originally posted at:


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But for the 1 in 10 people with hearing loss, it’s also the most challenging time for communication. Lipreading Mom should know. I’ve had 10 years of holidaytime hearing loss experience.

The whole family is packed around the dinner table, busily chatting about their good fortune and laying food onto their plates. Simultaneous conversations are difficult for us hard of hearing folks to follow. And it’s nearly impossible to lipread the youngster sitting next to me who’s talking with a mouth full of mashed potatoes.

So what’s a person with hearing loss to do at the holidays? Avoid large crowds entirely?

Lipreading Mom offers these suggestions for focusing on happiness, not hearing loss, at the holidays.

Create the right environment. If you haven’t already done so, let the hostess know in advance about your hearing difficulties and for her help in accommodating you. Lipreading Mom suggests good table lighting for easy lipreading and no dinnertime music unless it’s at the lowest volume imaginable. Sorry cousins, but no squeaky clarinet performances. If a TV is playing, ask for the volume to be turned down and for the closed captions to be turned on.

Ask for hearing help. Sit close to someone who can be your hearing helper. Decide on a code word between the two of you that means you need help in a hearing situation. Be sure to sit close enough to the helper and have a pen and paper handy in case you need the details of a tableside joke written down.

Face your guests, not the stove. If you are hosting the get-together, have most of meal and table preparation completed before guests arrive. This will give you time to converse with guests as they arrive instead of standing over a stove. This year, Lipreading Mom prepared all side items for Thanksgiving dinner 24 hours in advance, then put everything into the refrigerator. A half-hour before mealtime, the items warmed in the oven after the turkey came out. So you can spend a few minutes lipreading your chatty niece, take a guest up on his offer to slice the ham.

Play the quiet game. After everyone is done eating or opening presents, excuse yourself into a quiet room, such as a bathroom or porch. Spend the next five minutes giving your ears a break from holiday noise. Clear your head by meditating, praying or replaying a fun holiday song in your mind. This is your time to decompress from having to follow table conversations and also a good excuse not to wash a sink full of dishes.

Find a one-on-one conversation spot. Pick the least noisy place in the house (not counting the bathroom), and grab a loved one for a chat. Just because you’re hard of hearing doesn’t mean you can’t still be part of meaningful conversation. You just have to pick your quiet spot so you can actually hear that conversation. No gum chewing or smoking allowed since you need to see a person’s lips to lipread. And remind your chat buddy to speak at a natural volume level and pace. No shouting aloud (unless it’s part of a good joke).

While it can be challenging for a Lipreading Mom to always hear well with a house full of kids, I have one thing in particular to be thankful for this holiday. My hearing aids come with an on/off switch. I plan to use that switch as needed come December 25.


Follow Shanna Groves on Facebook, Twitter and LipreadingMom.com.

The Latest on AMC Movie Captions

AMC Entertainment is moving right along with making theater captioning technology compatible with its digital format films.

Melissa Johnson, director of guest services with AMC Entertainment in Kansas City, shared the following information today with our Kansas City HLAA rep, Terri Shirley.

Response from Melissa Johnson, AMC Entertainment
I spoke with our Project Manager again this morning to verify that testing at Mainstreet [in downtown Kansas City] had been completed (per the last email I had sent).  Testing has been completed and was successful.  The next step is sign off from our Technical Group.  Once this has been completed, installations will be scheduled. 
Installation is a two-part phase.  First phase is pre-set up which is done by an AMC engineer followed by the second phase of a contractor performing infrastructure work.  The installation process can take up to a week.  Testing on the system to verify it is operational can take up to two weeks following.  We do have all equipment ready to go (pending any faulty items, etc.).
Our Project Manager assures me that we are closer than ever, but is hesitant to commit to a specific date.  We would hate to see a delay if there are installation problems.  Studio continues to be high on the list for installation and I am excited to share some news I found out this morning.  It looks as if Studio will have the original theatre (#19) RWC with SIX additional theatres outfitted as well.  I’m told that these six theatres may have high-tech equipment such as Sony glasses that capture the image inside the glasses… we’ll keep our fingers crossed on this one.
I’ve attached the below questions with answers (from your email).  As I continue to hear news, I will keep you posted.  Please understand this is a process that does not happen overnight and we’re working to ensure the systems are brought back efficiently and as quickly as possible.  Thank you for your continued passion for the project.
I would appreciate if you could explain what CC/DV code is.  (as told by our Project Manager)
“Code” when talking about CC/DV could mean a couple of things, depending on the technology involved:
For assisted moviegoing accompanying 35mm film on strips, “code” most likely would refer to what is called “time code” in the A/V production industry.   It’s probably best explained with a diagram:
File:35mm film audio macro.jpg                              File:Anamorphic-digital sound.jpg
The left image is an extreme closeup of a side section of 35mm film.  The rounded rectangular holes are of course sprocket-holes used to guide the film through the projector head.  The movie’s visual frames would be to the side of this, as you can see in the right image. 
In the left photo, there are four distinct “tracks” of information represented that accompany the images that are projected on-screen.  As the film progresses during playback, these tracks are scanned by a special reader that shines a light through them and turns the visual data into audio information. 
The blue strip is Sony SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound), an 8-channel surround mode.  The gray is Dolby Digital (note the tiny “DD” logo in the center of the square) and is a 6-channel surround mode.  These two tracks are, like a CD or DVD, fully digital—this “image” is essentially a bunch of tiny dots that are converted by the projector’s reader into digital sounds. 
The next track, the two vertical squiggly white lines, are optical stereo analog audio—just two channels, left and right.  These tracks are literally waveforms of the audio sound, very similar to an LP record, except that instead of a needle reading a groove for playback, it’s a tiny light reading this visual representation of the movie’s soundtrack, which is converted into audio.  Most modern movie houses are digital today, and optical analog audio is pretty rare any more.
Finally, to the right of the squiggly waveform lines is a trail of white vertical dashes.  This is the time code I’m talking about.  It’s essentially a stream of numbers that are represented as time (hours:minutes:seconds:frames) and is there to tell the projector exactly where the film is, chronologically.  This is important for 35mm—because the projector is mechanical, two different projectors may operate at slightly different speeds, depending on factors like the age of the machine, the humidity or temperature in the booth, the physical condition of some parts, etc. 
A closed captioning or descriptive video hardware component must have this time code information, in order to sync CC/DV content with the feature.  Without the time code, the movie and the captions or descriptive narration audio track will slowly lose sync.  At the beginning of the feature it might not be very noticeable, but as the movie progresses the sync will continue to degrade, and by the end of the film, the sync will be significantly off, which is obviously unacceptable. 
So this bring us to the crux of the problem: the digital feature files for digital projectors do not have time code tracks associated with their playback.  Without the time code information, they will not function, thus, when a theatre is converted from 35mm to digital projection, the existing closed captioning and descriptive video hardware components become unusable. 
The fix for this requires two things.  A digital feature must have CC and DV information accompanying it in digital files—that is to say, included in distribution of the feature, provided by the movie company.  (For 35mm projector assisted moviegoing, an outside organization, MoPix, provides and distributes CC/DV content to theatres on CD-ROMs.) 
This content by itself however, isn’t simply enough to make the existing CC/DV equipment, such as RWC panels or headsets, start functioning again.  Typically a device called an encoder is necessary to gather and broadcast or display the digital data (which could also be called closed captioning “code”). 
So to outfit a digital theatre with CC and DV, an encoder and all the accompanying infrastructure (cabling, mounting, networking, etc.) has to be installed and configured to function with the auditorium’s projector.