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Barbie Movie Unveils Groundbreaking Accessibility Feature

Released: 12/14/2023


Author: Aaron Di Blasi, Publisher, Top Tech Tidbits


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Screen shot from the movie Barbie. Barbie in her car on the road singing with her right index finger pointed into the air.


The upcoming release of the "Barbie" movie on Max, the popular streaming platform, marks a significant milestone in cinema accessibility. Premiering this week, the highly anticipated film will introduce an innovative feature — American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation.

The initiative aligns with the film's core theme of inclusiveness, as stated by Casey Bloys, the chairman and CEO of HBO and Max. Bloys highlighted the importance of this feature, particularly for the deaf community, for whom ASL is often the primary language.

In this special ASL edition of "Barbie," viewers will see the movie with the added presence of sign language performer Leila Hanaumi. Her interpretation will be seamlessly integrated into the viewing experience, appearing in the lower right corner of the screen. This version of the film will have its own distinct identity on the streaming service, easily identifiable by its unique art featuring the sign language symbol.

To celebrate the launch of this accessible version, Max is organizing a special event in Los Angeles. The event will feature a screening of the ASL "Barbie" film, followed by a discussion involving Leila Hanaumi and the film's lead actress, Margot Robbie. This event is being conducted in collaboration with Deaf West Theatre and RespectAbility, two nonprofits dedicated to advocating for the deaf community and disability inclusivity.

Both the original and the ASL versions of "Barbie" will be available for streaming on Max starting December 15, 2023, offering audiences a choice in how they experience the film's empowering narrative.

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Top Tech Tidbits. The Week's News in Access Technology. Masthead logo includes title as well as five photos, a blind man with a white cane wearing dark sunglasses talking and listening to his mobile phone, a woman with sandy brown to blonde hair wearing a hearing aid, finger tips feeling braille dots on a refreshable braille display, a man making the sign for

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