The city of Portland has now announced today that all business are required to have closed caption on during business hours and cannot be turned off during business hours. This legislation/ordinance is the first of its kind in Oregon and possibility the United States. In a statement, Oregon Association of the Deaf, is pleased with the ordinance that was passed overwhelming by yesterday’s City Council’s votes by the City Commissioners, Amanda Fritz, Steve Novick, Nick Fish, and Dan Saltzman, and the Mayor, Charles Hales.

Commissioner Fritz proudly commended, “Thanks, particularly, to Carol Studenmund, David Viers, Steven Brown, and Jim House for your work with my staff and his efforts to work with us, and thank you to the community organizations for your support, the Oregon Association of the Deaf, Hearing Loss Association of American, Oregon State Association, Oregon Communications Access Project, which is a local grassroots advocacy group that is credited with implementing captioning at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland Trail Blazers, and many others.”

The Portland City Council on Wednesday passed an ordinance requiring televisions in public places to keep the closed captioning feature on. Effectively started in 30 days from yesterday’s votes, owners at bars, restaurants, barber shops and hospitals who turn off captions will risk paying a $500 fine.

This is an impressive feat. With Oregon taking the lead on this issue, we now shall see if other states will follow in advocating and implementing the requirement that televisions in public places to keep the closed captioning feature on during business hours.

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Founded in 1921 and with more than 190 members, OAD’s mission is to promote, protect and preserve the civil rights of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing individuals. Visit and is external).

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Thomsen Young

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