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September 28th, 2005
HANDHELD INDIVIDUAL CAPTIONING SYSTEM MAKES
ALL PERFORMANCES OF LEADING LADIES AT FORD'S THEATER
ACCESSIBLE TO THE DEAF

Contact: John Carney
JMPR Associates
212-477-0472
jmprmedia@aol.com


First Non-musical to Offer I-Caption® for All Performances

Washington DC, September 28, 2005 --- Ford's Theater is now offering I-Caption®, making all performances of the comedy Leading Ladies deaf accessible. This marks the first time a non-musical production has had the system which features a handheld wireless unit that displays dialogue verbatim, in text, from any seat in the house.

Attending live theater with family and friends or seeing a show on the spur of the moment has been a challenge for deaf and hard of hearing patrons who can require special signed performances or specific seats for complete enjoyment. I-Caption, the individual captioning system from Sound Associates, Inc., allows deaf theatergoers the flexibility to attend any performance they wish. See www.soundassociates.com

"Using assistive technology, our goal is to make every performance available to all theater lovers," said T. Richard Fitzgerald, CEO of Sound Associates and the designer of the I-Caption system who received a Tony Award in 1980 for introducing the Infrared Listening System to Broadway theatres.

With I-Caption the text is automated and synchronized with sound and lighting cues to accommodate pacing variations from performance to performance. A polarized screen keeps nearby patrons from being distracted by light or moving text. Because the system is handheld it can be used from any seat in the house.

I-Caption made its Washington debut last spring during the highly acclaimed run of Big River at Ford's Theater and was so popular that Ford's decided to offer it for Leading Ladies. The Theatre plans to utilize the system for several additional performances this season. I-Caption made its national debut in Deaf West's production of Big River on Broadway and is currently available for Broadway's Wicked, Mamma Mia! and Hairspray.

"A straight play, especially a comedy like Leading Ladies, is much more complicated to time than a musical," said Mark Annunziato, VP of Operations and Engineering. "Since songs keep the pace of a show consistent, musicals are more structured. But within a play, the timing can change at every performance". "This is the first time we worked with a production crew from the design phase."

Sound Associates' has also developed D-Scriptive©, a new audio description service for blind patrons and ShowTrans® the automated multilingual commentary service for non-English speaking audiences. D-Scriptive is available on Broadway at Wicked, Mamma Mia! and is coming shortly to Hairspray.

I-Caption units can be obtained without charge in the theatre lobby. Leading Ladies runs through October 23. For ticket information visit www.fordstheatre.org.


Note to Editors
I-Caption photo, interviews available.
Reporters are invited to a performance of Leading Ladies to experience using I-Caption.
Contact John Carney, jmprmedia@aol.com 212-477-0472