Councilwoman Traci Park Championing Accessibility with Closed Captioning Rules
The proposed rules would enhance accessibility for the hearing impaired
LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilwoman Traci Park is championing accessibility for the hearing impaired and English language learners with her call for new city rules requiring the activation of closed captioning on public televisions in Los Angeles. The new regulations will apply to televisions in businesses and other public settings, creating a more inclusive environment for all.
“Today’s action underscores my commitment to creating a more inclusive Los Angeles,” said Councilwoman Park. “Requiring the activation of closed captioning on televisions is a sensible move that will enhance safety and accessibility for the hearing impaired, English language learners and all Angelenos.”
Park’s motion asks the Department on Disability, with the assistance of the City Attorney, to report on the feasibility of drafting an ordinance to require businesses in the City to activate closed captioning on all of their televisions in public space.
“Councilwoman Park’s commitment to improve accessibility for effective communication benefits the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and all persons with disabilities,” said Geoffrey Straniere, ADA Compliance Officer for the City of Los Angeles. “This ordinance advances our commitment to become the most accessible big City in the nation.”
If ultimately approved by the City Council, Los Angeles would become the largest City in the nation to require the activation of closed captioning on public televisions – a policy that has already been implemented in other cities like Boston, San Francisco and Portland.
Since 2006, Congress has required video programming distributors, such as cable operators, broadcasters, satellite distributors, and other multi-channel video programming distributors, to provide closed captioning for their television programs to ensure that viewers who are deaf and/or have low hearing, which affects 15% of adults in the United States, have full access to programming. Yet, there is no requirement for their activation.
“Closed captioning is more than just a tool for those with hearing impairments, it’s a bridge to the world of communication and information for all individuals, including English language learners, who deserve equal access to the same opportunities for education and entertainment.”