13-R418

2013 -- H 5818 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/17/13

 

 

J O I N T R E S O L U T I O N

CREATING A SPECIAL JOINT COMMISSION TO STUDY CAPTIONING AND AUDIO DESCRIPTIONS FOR PERSONS WHO ARE HEARING OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED IN RHODE ISLAND COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL SETTINGS

     

     

     Introduced By: Representatives Handy, Naughton, Jacquard, Williams, and McNamara

     Date Introduced: February 28, 2013

 

     

 

     WHEREAS, The equal treatment of those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually

impaired, or otherwise disabled is an important issue; and

     WHEREAS, According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Community

Survey, in 2011, Rhode Island had an estimated population of over 50,000 people who have

hearing and/or vision difficulty; and

     WHEREAS, Only two movie theaters in Rhode Island are currently providing one

captioned movie; and

     WHEREAS, The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible

Design states: "A public accommodation shall take those steps that may be necessary to ensure

that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated

differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services"; and

     WHEREAS, An updated ADA regulation now specifies that open or closed captioning is

included in the term "auxiliary aids and services"; and

     WHEREAS, New technology, such as subtitle glasses, has the potential to enable those

who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled to enjoy the movie

going experience with less hassle for themselves and other patrons; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is hereby created

consisting of thirteen (13) members: three (3) of whom shall be members of the Senate, not more

than two (2) of whom shall be from the same political party, to be appointed by the President of

the Senate; three (3) of whom shall be members of the House of Representatives, not more than

two (2) of whom shall be from the same political party, to be appointed by the Speaker of the

House of Representatives; one of whom shall be the Executive Director of the Rhode Island

Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, or his or her designee; one of whom shall be the

Executive Secretary of the Governorís Commission on Disabilities, or his or her designee; one of

whom shall be the Attorney General, or his or her designee; one of whom shall be a

representative of the Department of Human Services who specializes in services for the blind and

visually impaired; one of whom shall be a representative of the Theater Owners of New England;

one of whom shall be a representative from the Motion Picture Association of America; and one

of whom shall be a representative from a Rhode Island based telecommunications company.

     In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory

commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a General Assembly

resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu

of a legislator, provided that the majority leader or the minority leader of the political party which

is entitled to the appointment consents to the appointment of the member of the general public.

     The purpose of said commission shall be to study captioning and audio descriptions in

residential and commercial settings in Rhode Island with respect to motion pictures for persons

who are deaf and hard of hearing and persons who are blind or visually impaired and other areas

related to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) as deemed appropriate by the commission.

     Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at

the call of the Co-Chairs and organize. The President of the Senate shall select a co-chairperson

and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall select a co-chairperson of the commission.

     Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.

     The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.

     All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information,

documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or

desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.

     The Joint Committee on Legislative Services is hereby authorized and directed to provide

suitable quarters in the State House for said commission; and be it further

     

RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and results to the General

Assembly on or before March 4, 2014, and said commission shall expire on July 1, 2014.

     

     

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LC01562/SUB A

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