Important ADA, Air Carrier Act Amendments Introduced by Sen. Harkin

March 14, 2013 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Transportation

ADA, Air Carriers Access Act Amendments Introduced by Senator Harkin;
Would Require Captions, Video Description in Movie Theaters, on Flights

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), long-time champion of the rights of people with disabilities and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, has introduced new amendments to the ADA and to the Air Carriers Access Act to expand access to media.

These new bills promise to fully include people with sensory disabilities in two key venues for entertainment and information: movie theaters and airlines. They require captions and video description in movie theaters as well as in-flight entertainment, and include provisions for making seat-back touch-screens accessible on airlines.

WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM: http://ncam.wgbh.org) successfully conducted research and development projects on each of these innovations, and brought captions and descriptions to movie theaters in the U.S. and Canada through its patented “MoPix” technology (www.mopix.org). NCAM also led the “Making In-flight Communication and Entertainment Accessible” project (http://ncam.wgbh.org/invent_build/movies/making-in-flight-communication) which prototyped captions, descriptions, and accessible displays for airline entertainment systems.

These innovative research projects were funded by the US Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation.

Press release from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP):
http://www.help.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=347af2ed-b204-45a8-b565-0b8a218f5889&groups=Chair


Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.