Pepsi Center to Provide Open Captioning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Sports Fans

Pepsi Center to Provide Open Captioning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Sports Fans Class action settlement provides for captioning on LED boards at non-concert events. DENVER January 25, 2018 – Kirstin Kurlander and Kroenke Arena Company are pleased to announce that the Pepsi Center will start providing open captioning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing sports fans beginning this fall. The Pepsi Center — a roughly 18,000-seat arena in downtown Denver — is home to the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Mammoth.  Starting with the first preseason Avalanche game in October of this year, the Pepsi Center will caption all of the information spoken over the public address system on LED ribbon boards mounted on the front of the third level at the four corners of the arena. Ms. Kurlander, a deaf woman and Mammoth season-ticket holder, filed a class action lawsuit against the company that owns and operates the Pepsi Center in 2016, after informally requesting captions at the arena.  The Pepsi Center began providing captions on handheld devices — smartphones or tablets — in late 2016, and has been working with Ms. Kurlander and her attorneys at the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) on a solution that provides open captioning that is generally visible throughout the arena.  The parties reached agreement at the end of last year and Judge Wiley Y. Daniel granted preliminary approval on January 9, 2018. “I am very pleased that the Pepsi Center will provide captioning and I look forward to attending lacrosse and other games there with full access to the information broadcast in the arena,” said Ms....

Department of Justice finds UC Berkeley must provide accessible online content.

In October 2014, CREEC, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf, filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Justice (Department) against the University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley) based on alleged violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act through its failure to provide captioning of online courses and other educational content.  On August 30, 2016 the Department presented its findings and conclusions. The investigation addressed Berkeley’s YouTube channel, iTunes U, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the edX learning platform (UC BerkeleyX).  The Department conducted a wide-ranging review of the university’s online content. The Department reviewed MOOCs through the UC BerkeleyX platform and determined that some videos were not captioned, documents were not formatted for those who use screen readers, and assorted other issues.  Upon a sampling of the YouTube platforms, the Department found a number of barriers to access, including for example automatically generated captions that were inaccurate and incomplete, did not provide non-visual description of the content, or were not contrasted properly for those with visual impairments.  Finally, the Department reviewed a sampling of Berkeley’s iTunes U platform and found that none of the videos reviewed were closed captioned, and none provided an alternative format to the visual information contained into the videos. The Department concluded that Berkeley has violated accessibility requirements.  Specifically, the Department found that Berkeley “is in violation of title II because significant portions of its online content are not provided in an accessible manner when necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with hearing, vision or manual disabilities.   In addition, Berkeley’s administrative methods have not ensured that individuals...

Settlement Underscores Importance of Hiring Certified Sign Language Interpreters

A&A Languages, a Centennial interpretation and translation agency, reached an agreement relating to the use of certified sign language interpreters. A&A and the plaintiffs — two Deaf women and the husband of one — assert that the agreement serves to clarify the benefits and importance of utilizing sign language interpreters who have been certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). This is important in communications involving health care and human service resources. A&A affirmed that it will continue its practice of hiring and assigning only sign language interpreters who are certified by the RID. The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) urges other translation agencies who provide interpretation services to use RID-certified interpreters. The Colorado Consumer Protection Act specifies that it is a “deceptive trade practice” to claim to be a “sign language interpreter” if the person is not in fact RID certified. RID certification is important for those who sign and those who do not and who require accurate and prompt communications with one another, for example, in crucial medical or social services interactions. The promptness, accuracy and skill possessed by a certified sign language interpreter can promote efficient and effective communications involving complex and difficult communications in a variety of settings. Certified interpreters are required to demonstrate skills necessary to discuss complex matters. They also are required to adhere to standards of professionalism and confidentiality designed to ensure that all parties involved, regardless of their signing ability or identity, receive effective communication in medical, social services, and business contexts. A&A Languages, founded in 2002, is one of the leading providers of interpretation and...