Crandell offers softer sound on big screen

HUDSON–Chatham’s Crandell Theater plans to show sensory sensitive and captioned movies every week, Melissa Scheriff, contract manager and planner, told the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Subcommittee of the Columbia County Community Service Board at its April 23 meeting.

Sensory sensitive movies have sound and lights dimmed for people who can only tolerate less than conventional levels of sound and/or light. Captioned movies accommodate the hearing impaired. Starting April 28, according to Ms. Scheriff, whenever the Crandell has a G, PG, or PG-13 movie, it intends to show a sensory sensitive version of it Sunday afternoons and a captioned version Monday evening.

A call to the theater on April 26 got a recording that said the movie of the week was Avengers: Endgame—rated PG-13—181 minutes long; its Sunday 2:30 p.m. showing would be “sensory friendly,” and its 7 p.m. Monday showing would be closed captioned. The theater’s phone number is 518 392-3331.

Accommodating movies to special needs grew from proposals made by Community Services Director Michael Cole, Youth Bureau Executive Director Jessica Nabozny, and Ms. Scheriff–with full support of the county Board of Supervisors and Department of Social Services–to theaters in the county. After a trial sensory sensitive movie, with the “good turnout” of about 40 people, “Crandell has taken the idea and run with it,” reported Ms. Scheriff. Cosmic Cinema in Greenport has also considered the proposal.

Ms. Scheriff and Mr. Cole also spoke about arranging sensory sensitive hours at this summer’s County Fair, as well as accommodating people with disabilities at public parks and playgrounds.

Also at the meeting:

• The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Integration offers a course for people who want to become housing navigators, matching clients with available housing that comes closest to their wants and needs. This was announced by Carolynn Anklam, chief quality officer of Coarc, a non-profit organization that provides services for people with disabilities.

“Not everybody wants care 24/7,” she added. Some clients want to “self-direct.” They “are often living with their families.” Still, many people who self-direct “need a support broker and a fiscal intermediary”

• Meeting attendees mentioned Community First, a program whereby students with disabilities take a course at a college. At the end, they have a completion ceremony

• Mr. Cole announced plans for regular meetings between County Community Services Boards and school districts, so that each stays familiar with what services the other provides. Dr. Gladys Cruz, superintendent of Questar III BOCES, “has given the directive” for such meetings, to take place every few months. Participants would come from each of Questar III’s three counties: Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer. As education representative from Columbia County, Dr. Cruz chose Leslie Whitcomb, superintendent of the New Lebanon Central School District.

The next meeting of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities subcommittee will take place Tuesday, May 28, at 4:30 p.m. at 325 Columbia Street in Hudson.

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