Alabama Public Television is partnering with the Historic Ritz Theatre in Talladega to host a special preview of the upcoming APT documentary Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind: Deaf. Blind. Limitless on Tuesday, May 10th at 6:00pm. The version shown at the screening will include captioning for deaf and hearing disabled attendees and descriptive audio for the blind and visually impaired. The theater is taking reservations by phone at 256-315-0000.
The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) is the world’s most comprehensive education, rehabilitation and service program, serving individuals of all ages who are deaf, blind, deaf-blind and multi-disabled. The new documentary from Alabama Public Television takes viewers inside AIDB to explore and better understand this extraordinary community and those it serves. The broadcast premiere will be Thursday, May 18 at 8:00pm on APT.
Founded in 1858 by a young medical doctor who wanted to educate his deaf brother, AIDB now serves more than 36,000 infants, toddlers, children, adults and seniors with hearing and vision loss throughout Alabama each year. In Talladega, AIDB now has six campuses, including Alabama School for the Deaf, Alabama School for the Blind, Alabama Industries for the Blind, Helen Keller School, E.H. Gentry Facility, and the Marianna Greene Henry (MGH) Special Equestrian Arena.
AIDB also has ten regional centers located in Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Tuscumbia which extend the program offerings throughout the state.
Alabama School for the Blind senior Rachel Hyche is among the current and former students of AIDB who appear in the film. Hyche spent years going to public school and says she always felt like an outcast. At ASB she found a much more open and understanding community. Hyche talks about how the school has helped her both socially and academically and shows off the technology that transforms the writing on her phone or computer to a Braille dots keyboard display so she can read it.
“I love being here. Staying here on the weekends is amazing because I get to hang out with my friends. I literally get to have a sleepover every night and wake up in the morning and go talk to my friends. It’s like going to summer camp every day.”
“We held a special showing of the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary Becoming Helen Keller for AIDB students at the Ritz Theatre last year,” says APT interim executive director Phil Hutcheson. “I have never seen a group of students so quiet and attentive. The combination of captioning and descriptive audio and ASL within the documentary made it the most accessible television program they had ever experienced. We’re delighted to partner with John Mascia at AIDB and George Culver at the Ritz to do this kind of presentation again – and this time AIDB students will be on the screen as well as in the audience.”