The Law...

Section 508

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘ 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. More detailed information can be found at:

Telecommunications Act of 1996

In 1996, Congress required video programming distributors (cable operators, broadcasters, satellite distributors, and other multi-channel video programming distributors) to close caption their television programs. In 1997, the FCC set a transition schedule requiring distributors to provide an increasing amount of captioned programming. Additional information is available at:

Americans With Disabilities Act – ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990. Under the ADA, it is required that educational and instructional videotapes be accessible to hearing impaired and deaf individuals. The law includes state and local governments and some private organizations and mandates the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary.
More information can be found in the “ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual Covering Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities” at the following link:

Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990

All televisions manufactured after 1993 with a screen size of 13 inches or larger are required to have a built-in closed caption decoder. To learn more, visit:

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