In Ann Arbor, Michigan — there was a new city law/ordinance passed two weeks ago that will require all TVs in public settings (hotels, bars, lobbies, restaurants, gyms) to have closed captions turned on. This ordinance will go in effect on July 1 and it’s a strict law — with a minimum fine of $50 to a maximum of $500 if a business does not have CC on their TVs.
A Deaf man, West Resendes, was the one who got the ball rolling for this ordinance. He is now a law student at Yale, but last year when he was a member of the city’s Commission on Disability Issues, he was informed by a Deaf friend who lived in Portland, Oregon that the city passed a CC ordinance (on December 28 2015).
West thought, “why doesn’t Ann Arbor have the same ordinance?” So West got a copy of the Portland ordinance, tweaked it to fit Ann Arbor, and proposed it at a disability committee meeting. It was approved and moved to the City Council, where it passed.
West said any Deaf person can get a copy of this ordinance (attached below) and propose this idea during a public comment at their next city council meeting or at a disability commission meeting (West recommends starting with a Disability committee).
Very nice, and now you have a “blueprint” to get this ordinance passed in your city!
Ann Arbor Ordinance: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2017/02/new_law_requires_ann_arbor_bus.html
Portland Ordinance: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/12/portland_captions_public_place.html