Seattle council discusses closed captioning requirement for stores that sell televisions

Mar 20, 2019
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Written by Washington Retail
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Washington Retail is studying the possibility that the Seattle City Council could vote to require retailers who sell televisions to display closed captioning for deaf or hard-of-hearing visitors.

A draft of a possible ordinance can be read here. A council civil rights committee received a briefing on a bill on March 12. It is again scheduled to discuss the bill next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

WR is studying the draft to determine an appropriate response. It will be important for retailers that sell televisions to share thoughts or concerns about such a requirement.

WR urges concerned Seattle retailers to contact John Engber, Director of the Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle, to learn more about possible council meetings to discuss the idea. Engber can be reached at 206-919-5517 or at [email protected].

Language in the draft says an ordinance would apply to any person owning or managing a place of public accommodation and specifies a certain number of televisions that would fall under the ordinance requirements during regular business hours. In spells out retailers, hospitals, bars and restaurants, health clubs and airport lounges as examples of places where an ordinance could be enforced.