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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Under Title III of the ADA to Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Movie Captioning and Audio Description
July 25, 2014
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
On July 23, 2014, the Attorney General signed the Justice Departments 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 users 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 Justices Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Under Title III of the ADA to Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Movie Captioning and Audio Description."
The Department anticipates that the proposed regulation will be published in the Federal Register within the next few weeks. At that time, the public will be able to begin to submit public comments either on the regulations.gov website, or by mail. The comment period will be open for sixty days beginning on the date of publication in the Federal Register. The Department encourages the public to review the NPRM and submit comments. This webpage will be updated to contain a link to regulations.gov when the NPRM is published.
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