WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Department of Justice
announced Nov. 22 that it has modified a regulation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The revision clarifies a public
accommodation’s obligation to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services
for people with disabilities.
Under the new rule, public accommodations that own, operate
or lease movie theaters must provide closed captioning and audio description if
they show a digital movie that makes these features available.
“The disability community and movie theater industry
provided comprehensive insight on this important regulation,” said principal
deputy assistant attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice
Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“The Justice Department’s regulation
establishes a nationally consistent standard and ensures that, in theaters
across the country, people with hearing and vision disabilities can fully enjoy
watching movies with their families and friends.”
The final rule mandates that theaters maintain the equipment
needed to provide individual patrons with closed movie captioning and audio
description. Movie theaters will need to make these services known to the
general public as well. The rule only focuses on movie theaters that show
digital films; those that show analog movies exclusively are exempt from the