Closed-captioning ordinance feedback sought from business owners only.
The Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues firmly believes that full access to information and public facilities in Ann Arbor should be status quo, especially for individuals with disabilities. Thus, having Closed Captioning on for all media streaming devices in public places should be status quo, not an exception or a request.
The Commission prepared the Closed Captioning Ordinance for Ann Arbor, for which the City Council approved the first reading. The City Council requests feedback from the public, including establishment owners and managers, about their take on the ordinance. The Closed Captioning Ordinance for the City of Ann Arbor will require closed captioning, where available, to be activated on all televisions used in places of public accommodation. Additionally, this ordinance will help all consumers access information broadcasted on televisions, particularly individuals who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing and/or those who are having difficulty hearing the aural content on televisions in noisy environments. This ordinance does not require the purchase of new equipment. In addition, if a local merchant is found in violation of the ordinance, there would be a civil penalty of $50 to $500.
This ordinance is designed primarily for awareness and educational purposes. For example, in Portland, during the first year where a similar ordinance was in place, only one official complaint was registered. This was resolved with a letter and no penalties. Also, if an Ann Arbor restaurant employee is asked to turn on the closed captioning and he or she does so without issue, then no fine will be levied.
This online feedback opportunity has been prepared to share the latest version of the Closed Captioning Ordinance and to give the public a chance to voice their concerns or suggestions that may need to be considered prior to the implementation. To view the ordinance and related materials, please click here.
Please note that in order for your feedback responses to be included in final survey results, you must sign in to A2 Open City Hall. If you do not register and sign in, then your comments won't be captured.
The feedback opportunity will take less than 5 minutes to complete. Please proceed to the survey questions by clicking on the blue “take the survey" icon below. This topic will close on Friday, Jan. 20 at 12 noon. We appreciate your willingness to provide input on this ordinance.