Two bills introduced this week in Congress would broaden access to the movies for people with disabilities.
Under legislation proposed Wednesday, the Americans with Disabilities Act would be amended to require movie theaters to offer closed captioning and audio descriptions of films to aid those with visual or hearing impairments. The accommodations would be required at all showings at movie theaters with two or more screens.
A second bill would mandate captioning and narration on all airplanes where in-flight video entertainment is offered.
“More than two decades have passed since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and in that time we have seen a transformation of our physical landscape — from curb cuts to wheelchair ramps, buses with lifts to automatic doors,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who introduced the legislation. “However, we still have more to do. These bills will allow Americans with visual or hearing impairments to enjoy going to the movies and watching in-flight entertainment, through captioning and video description, just as they can at home.”