City Council requires closed captioning in many public establishments

Apr 30, 2019
Written by wpengine

The Seattle City Council has unanimously adopted an ordinance that requires businesses with televisions in public places to turn on closed captioning.

The ordinance applies to Seattle retailers and other venues including restaurants, bars, stadiums and hotel lobbies, for example.

The council heard and accepted suggested amendments by WR lobbyist John Engber, Director of the Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle. The ordinance requires one of each television model to include closed captioning in an appliance showroom but exempts sets that don’t have the technical capabilities or programs that do not have closed captioning available.

Engber thanked council members for considering business practicalities in adopting the ordinance. The city’s Office of Civil Rights will be responsible for enforcement after a six-month public education campaign.

The document will now go through the city’s rulemaking process to determine how it will be implemented and enforced.

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