8/1/2016 8:00:00 AM
Good news! Starting today, August 1st, Minnesota’s new closed captioning law goes into effect. As of now, closed captioning is required to be kept on at all times in certain medical facilities.
The law applies to waiting rooms in hospitals, surgical centers, birth centers and some group homes. The group homes affected are those that provide housing, meals and services to five or more people who are developmentally or physically disabled, chemically dependent or mentally ill.
The law does not apply to medical clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
If you go into a hospital waiting room in Minnesota after today, the closed captioning should be activated on the TV. If it’s not, just ask a staff person, and they are required to turn it on as soon as they can. If they refuse or if you notice that the closed captioning is not activated on more than one occasion, please let us at the Commission know at firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-431-5961 (V), or 612-361-0321 (updated number for VP). Be sure to include the following information: Name of facility, floor/room, name of the staff that you spoke with and their job title.
You can read the new law online, Minnesota Laws 2016, Chapter 150.
Also remember that even in places where the closed captioning is not required to be kept on at all times, it still need to be turned on for you if you make a request. This is considered a “reasonable accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for those of us who are deaf or have a hearing loss.