Dialogue for the Deaf

Robert Todd, 15, missed huge pieces of the plot when he saw the latest Star Wars movie. "Who's supposed to be the young Darth Vader?" he asked his dad. Robert has severe to profound hearing loss, and like most of the 28 million other deaf or severely hearing-impaired Americans, he can't follow a movie without some help--from captioning or a companion. Last month his father Rob Todd filed a class action in federal court in Texas against 12 film-production companies and theater chains. The suit, the first legal slap at movie studios in an emotional struggle between deaf activists and the...

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