NPRM TO REQUIRE MOVIE THEATERS TO PROVIDE CLOSED MOVIE CAPTIONING AND AUDIO DESCRIPTION
The Attorney General recently signed the Department’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act 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.
The Department anticipates that the proposed regulation will be published in the Federal Register within the next few weeks.