I wanted to make you aware that on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 the Rochester City Council voted unanimously to adopt a Closed Captioning Ordinance; this ordinance will go into effect on December 19, 2017. The request for this change to the City Code came from advocates from the local deaf and hard of hearing community. I wanted to share with you the intent and purpose of this legislation and how it will positively impact our deaf and hard of hearing neighbors.
This legislation requires any business, providing television access to its patrons, to utilize closed captioning. This will allow for patrons who are deaf and hard of hearing to have equal access to the information that is being provided. I am aware than many City businesses already provide captioning and others will do so upon request, the intent of this legislation is to remove barriers to information and provide immediate access to information for all residents.
Businesses will be required to provide closed captioning during all regular business hours, on televisions that are in areas accessible to the public. Examples of public spaces include: a bar, the dining area of a restaurant, a lobby area or similar public space. Exceptions to providing captioning include instances when: (1) the television is not being utilized, (2) the program being shown does not offer closed captioning, or (3) the television receiver is incapable of displaying closed captioning.
I know that you are a leader in our community, and on behalf of the City Council, I wanted to make you aware of this important effort. I hope that you will help spread the information among your networks, so we can work together to increase accessibility in the City of Rochester. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact the City Council’s Chief of Staff Andrea Guzzetta at (585) 428-7538.
Loretta C. Scott
President, Rochester City Council