Not long ago I blogged about "by the year 2030..." Read the link before going on.
I've strayed for some time from writing up the new Act for accessibility in movie theaters because I'm no expert in legal writing. However, it came to me that I could copy the 'Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990' and change the wording to make it into its own Movie Theaters Accessibility Act of 2006. It's work in progress and I'm reaching out on this blog to ask you to help me to give me feedback on this and I need help revising section 3, 4, and 6.
As you will notice from reading below that I've added the mandate of having movie theaters to provide audio description to the Act below. The reason I've done this was to strengthen the Act by grouping the deaf and hard of hearing people with the blind and people with low-vision.
Movie Theaters Accessibility Act of 2006
An Act to require new movie theaters to have built in captioning and audio description devices in 50% of their screens.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section. 1. This Act may be cited as the "Movie Theaters Accessibility Act of 2006".
Sec. 2. The Congress finds that--
(1) to the fullest extent made possible by technology, deaf, vision and hearing impairments people should have equal access to the movie theaters;
(2) movie theaters with captioning and audio description devices have made it possible for thousands of deaf, vision and hearing impairments people to gain access to the movie theaters, thus significantly improving the quality of their lives;
(3) movie theaters with captioning and audio description devices will provide access to information, entertainment, and a greater understanding of our Nation and the world to over 28,000,000 people in the United States who are deaf, vision and hearing impairments;
(4) movie theaters with captioning and audio description devices will provide benefits for the nearly 38 percent of older Americans who have some loss of hearing and vision;
(5) movie theaters with captioning and audio description devices can assist both hearing and hearing-impaired children with reading and other learning skills, and improve literacy skills among adults;
(6) movie theaters with captioning and audio description devices can assist those among our Nation's large immigrant population who are learning English as a second language with language comprehension;
(7) currently, a consumer must travel to limited theater locations in order to enjoy movies with captioning and audio description devices provided;
(8) the availability of movie theaters with captioning and audio description devices will significantly increase the audience that can be served by captioned and audio description movies, and such increased market will be an incentive to the movie theaters to provide more captioned and audio description movies.
REQUIREMENT FOR CAPTIONING AND AUDIO DESCRIPTION EQUIPMENT
Sec. 3. Section 303 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 303) is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:
"(u) Require that apparatus designed to receive television pictures broadcast simultaneously with sound be equipped with built-in decoder circuitry designed to display closed-captioned television transmissions when such apparatus is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States, and its television picture screen is 13 inches or greater in size.".
PERFORMANCE AND DISPLAY STANDARDS
Sec. 4. (a) Section 330 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 330) is amended by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c), and by inserting immediately after subsection (a) the following new subsection:
"(b) No person shall ship in interstate commerce, manufacture, assemble, or import from any foreign country into the United States, any apparatus described in section 303(u) of this Act except in accordance with rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to the authority granted by that section. Such rules shall provide performance and display standards for such built-in decoder circuitry. Such rules shall further require that all such apparatus be able to receive and display closed captioning which have been transmitted by way of line 21 of the vertical blanking interval and which conform to the signal and display specifications set forth in the Public Broadcasting System engineering report numbered E-7709-C dated May 1980, as amended by the Telecaption II Decoder Module Performance Specification published by the National Captioning Institute, November 1985. As new video technology is developed, the Commission shall take such action as the Commission determines appropriate to ensure that closed-captioning service continues to be available to consumers. This subsection shall not apply to carriers transporting such apparatus without trading it.".
(b) Section 330(c) of such Act, as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section, is amended by deleting "and section 303(s)" and inserting in lieu thereof ", section 303(s), and section 303(u)".
Sec. 5. Sections 3 and 4 of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 2008.
Sec. 6. The Federal Communications Commission shall promulgate rules to implement this Act within 180 days after the date of its enactment.