The Minnesota legislature passed the Campaign Ad Captioning Law (external link) in 2008. All state candidates who accept a public subsidy are required to:
caption their online and televised ads and
post transcripts of their radio ads
This law provides equal access to voters who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. Deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people make up 20% of the population. Voters need access to their candidates' platform in order to make a self-informed decision about their votes.
Are you a member of the public who has noticed that a candidate needs to make his or her ads accessible? Notify candidates of their responsibility and share this page with them. Additionally, you may contact MNCDHH and let us know of campaign ads that should be closed captioned.
Minnesota Captioning Legislation Video
Senator Ann Rest is featured in a video that explains about the Campaign ad Captioning Law. This video was produced by Senate Media Services (external link) and is shared with permission.
You were able to read my introduction to this video, but not hear it. The captioning allowed you to see what I said. Captioning closes the communication gap between voters who can hear and voters who are deaf and hard of hearing. That s 10% of all voters in Minnesota.
We passed a new law in the 2008 legislative session. Candidates who accept public funding for their campaigns must now caption their ads on TV and online. They also need to post scripts of their radio ads on their web sites.
With captioning and script posting, all potential voters with access to televisions or computers will be able to hear, or see, campaign ads. It's easy and inexpensive. It's the law. But more importantly, it's also an opportunity for candidates to engage more voters in their campaigns for public office.
[Graphic: For information on vendors who provide this service and more, contact: Minnesota Campaign Finance Board (external link) & Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans]
Vendors can add closed captioning to your videos for you. Their rates vary. The Described and Captioned Media Program, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of the Deaf, has a list of captioning service vendors (external link). You will have to contact the vendors to learn more about their services.