DOJ issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Movie Captioning and Audio Description: HLAA to File Comments

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DOJ issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Movie Captioning and Audio Description: HLAA to File Comments

Aug 13 2014

On July 23, 2014, the Attorney General signed the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act title III regulation to provide closed movie captioning and audio description to give persons with hearing and vision disabilities access to movies. Closed movie captioning refers to captions that are delivered to the patron at his or her seat and are visible only to that patron. Audio description enables individuals who are blind or have low vision to enjoy movies by providing a spoken narration of key visual elements of a movie, such as actions, settings, facial expressions, costumes, and scene changes. Audio description is transmitted to a user's wireless headset. The Department is proposing to provide a consistent nationwide standard for movie theaters to exhibit movies with closed movie captioning and audio description for all showings of movies that are available with closed movie captioning or audio description. This proposed rule would impose no independent obligation on movie theaters to add captions or audio description to movies that are not already available with those features.

Title III of the ADA requires movie theaters and other public accommodations to provide effective communication through the use of auxiliary aids and services. This rulemaking specifies requirements that movie theaters will need to meet in order to satisfy their effective communication obligations to persons with hearing and vision disabilities. For a summary of the NPRM and its requirements, see the "Questions and Answers about the Department of Justice's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Under Title III of the ADA to Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Movie Captioning and Audio Description."

The proposed regulation was published in the Federal Register on August 1, 2014. The comment period closes on September 30, 2014. The Department encourages the public to review the NPRM and submit comments. Comments may be submitted on the regulations.gov website or by mail at the following addresses: Regular U.S. mail: Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 2885, Fairfax, VA 22031-0885; Overnight, courier, or hand delivery: Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1425 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 4039, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Link to main page: http://www.ada.gov/regs2014/movie_nprm_index.htm

Q&A:  http://www.ada.gov/regs2014/qa_movie_nprm.htm

Link to Text: http://www.ada.gov/regs2014/movie_nprm.html

HLAA plans to file comments in this proceeding. Individuals are also encouraged to file comments. If you need help, contact advocacy@hearingloss.org