T.

9/28/93 DJ 204-50-0 OCT 18 1993

The Honorable John M. McHugh U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515-3224 Dear Congressman McHugh: This letter is in response to your correspondence on behalf of your constituent, William J. Morrow, concerning Federal closed captioning requirements. At least four Federal requirements deal with the provision of closed captioning: titles II, III, and IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The information reflected in Mr. Morrow's letter is essentially correct. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, activities, and services provided or made available by State and local governments, instrumentalities, or agencies, regardless of the receipt of Federal funds. Title III of the ADA covers public accommodations such as shopping centers, doctors' offices, museums, zoos, private schools, and other private establishments. Copies of the title II and III regulations and manuals explaining the regulations are enclosed. Regulations implementing titles II and III require the provision of auxiliary aids and services by public and private entities where necessary to ensure effective communication with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing (section 35.160, p. 35721, of the title II rule; and section 36.303, p. 35597, of the title III rule, respectively). For individuals with hearing impairments, auxiliary aids and services include, but are not limited to, qualified interpreters, closed captioning, and transcription services such as computer aided real-time transcription (section 35.l04, p. 35717, of the title II regulation; and section 36.303(b)(1), p. 35597, of the title III regulation).

cc: Records, CRS, Chrono, FOIA, Friedlander (3), Mather.ltr.mcHugh, Breen, McDowney 01-02650​ -2-

As Mr. Morrow also noted, the title II regulation covers television and videotape programming produced by public entities. Access to audio portions of such programming may be provided by closed captioning. Page 35712 of the title II regulation explains this concept. With regard to commercial operations, the title III regulation, section 36.307, p. 35598, does not require that video-tape rental establishments stock closed-captioned video tapes, although the most recent offerings in those establishments are, in fact, closed-captioned. Further discussion of this point can be found on p. 35571 of the title III regulation. Movie theaters are not required by title III to present open-captioned films. However, other public accommodations that impart verbal information through soundtracks on films, video tapes, or slide shows are required to make such information accessible to persons with hearing impairments. Captioning is one means to make information accessible to individuals with disabilities. This concept is explained on page 35567 of the title III regulation. Title IV of the ADA requires that any televised public service announcements that are wholly or partially funded by the Federal government include closed captioning of the verbal content of the announcement. However, individual television stations are not required to supply the closed captioning for any announcements that do not include closed captioning. For more information on this requirement, please contact the Federal Communications Commission, the agency responsible for implementing and enforcing title IV. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federally conducted and assisted programs. Like the title II regulation, regulations implementing section 504 require that Federal agencies and recipients provide auxiliary aids and services whenever necessary to ensure effective communications with members of the public. Services include the provision of closed

captioning. I hope this information is helpful to you. Sincerely, James P. Turner Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (4) 01-02651​JOHN M. McHUGH COMMITTEE ON 24TH DISTRICT NEW YORK ARMED SERVICES Subcommittee on Military 418 CANNON HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING Installations and Facilities Washington, DC 20515-3224 Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Telephone COMMITTEE ON 202-225-4611 GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES Subcommittee on Environment, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Employment, September 3, 1993 Housing and Aviation The Honorable Janet Reno U.S. Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice Constitution Avenue and 10th Street Washington, D.C. 20530 Dear Madam Attorney General: I am writing with regard to the enclosed correspondence I received from Mr. William J. Morrow, President of the North Country Association for the Deaf in in Adams Center, New York, concerning the closed captioning requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act for State and local governments and non-profit agencies. Any information, comments or assistance you may be able to provide concerning this matter would be appreciated so that I may furnish my constituent with a complete report. Sincerely yours,

John M. McHugh Member of Congress JMM/jmb Enclosure

01-02652​

NORTH COUNTRY ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF ORGANIZED ESTABLISHED 1973 Senator James W. Wright RM 814, LOB Albany, N.Y. 12247 AUG 12 1993 Dear Senator Wright: we are writing this letter to you in hopes that you can help change the way most local and state government agencies and non profit agencies (such as the hospitals, schools, retirement homes, libraries, museums ect.) feel about closed captions. We have written many letters requesting that these agencies please close caption their public videos as well as their Public Service Announcements, training videos, and archived videos. However, we have received little or no response to our pleas to be included in their messages and public information. The few responses that we have received either were unacceptable or nothing happened at all. The reason that we have chosen to write to you is because of the July 29th meeting at the State Office building in Watertown. We were very happy to inform our organization that you are "A BIG SUPPORTER" of the ADA laws. We were a little disappointed that we did not get a chance to speak to you personally about this issue but we understand that you are a very busy person. We received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice claiming that Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, activities, and services provided or made available by State and local governments, instrumentalities, or agencies, regardless of the receipt of Federal funds. Title III of the ADA covers public accommodations such as shopping centers, doctors' offices, museums, zoos, private schools, and other private establishments. We were also informed that regulations implementing titles

II and III require the provision of auxiliary aids and services by public and private entities where necessary to ensure effective communication with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing (section 35.160, p. 35721, of the title II rule; and section 36.303, p. 35597, of the title III rule, respectively). For individuals with hearing impairments, auxiliary aids and services include, but are not limited to, qualified interpreters, closed captioning, and transcription services such as computer aided real-time transcription (section 35.104, P. 35717, of the title II regulation; and section 36.303 (b) (1), p. 35597, of the title III regulation). The titles II regulation covers television and videotape programming produced by public entities. Access to audio portions of such programming may be provided by closed captioning. We do not presume that you are unaware of the ADA laws and how they pertain to the deaf and hearing impaired. We know that you were an advocate for these laws. We only wish that you could 01-02653​ confirm to us that we have been given good information regarding these laws and that the agencies in the State of New York in which these laws pertain, will adhere to these laws promptly. Once again, we thank you for taking the time to speak at the State Office building and supporting our cause. We will be awaiting patiently to hear from you regarding this letter and watching for the changes in the way these agencies deal with the hearing impaired. Sincerely, North Country Association of the Deaf P.O. Box 265 William J. Morrow Adams Center N.Y. 13606 President, ATTN: Barbara Hunter North Country Association of the Deaf

01-02654