Bills requiring theaters and airports to provide closed captioning when playing movies were introduced in Congress March 12.
The bills would specifically amend the Americans with Disabilities Act to expand access to these venues for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
“More than two decades have passed since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and in that time we have seen a transformation of our physical landscape — from curb cuts to wheelchair ramps, buses with lifts to automatic doors,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who introduced the legislation, told Disability Scoop. “However, we still have more to do. These bills will allow Americans with visual or hearing impairments to enjoy going to the movies and watching in-flight entertainment, through captioning and video description, just as they can at home.”
Closed captioning is a technology that allows individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to view written text at movie theaters through a personal display device, which is seen through a visor to ensure it does not impact the movie experience of other individuals.