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Increasing Captioned Content

Video content is too often not captioned. The organizations releasing these videos may lack awareness of the benefits of making videos accessible and the availability of tools and services to generate the captions.

Who this impacts

  • People who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing
  • People who are learning English as a second language
  • Children who are learning how to read
  • Anyone who is in a noisy environment where it is hard to hear
  • Anyone who is in an environment where the sound must be turned off


Here are some of the solutions that MNCDHH has worked on, with community advocates and partners.

In 2005, MNCDHH won passage of the captioning bill, which gives $600,000 per year for real-time captioning for live news programming in Duluth, Mankato, Rochester, Alexandria, and TPT's Almanac. In 2008, we won the continuation of those funds with money allocated from the Telephone Access Minnesota fund.

In 2008, MNCDHH successfully advocated for the Minnesota Campaign Ad Captioning Law. This requires legislative candidates who agree to spending limits to make their ads accessible. 

In 2010, MNCDHH developed Video Captioning Essentials, an online course for captioning.

In 2015, MNCDHH lobbied for a bill that would require that closed captioning be activated, upon requires, on TVs in public spaces. Unfortunately, it did not pass. We will have to try again. 

In 2015, MNCDHH, the Hearing Loss Association of America - Twin Cities chapter, Minnesota Hands & Voices, and the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens launched the #CaptionMNnow campaign, asking local businesses to pledge to keep their captions activated on their TVs at all times.

In 2016, MNCDHH  won passage requiring that the closed captions be kept on at all times in waiting rooms in hospitals, surgical centers, birth centers, and some group homes. The law does not apply to medical clinics, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. 

Who was involved

  • Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing
  • Community advocates
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