Beginning March 1, all Tacoma public establishments with televisions will be required to turn on closed captioning to better serve those who are hard of hearing or deaf.

The new city ordinance aligns municipal code with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and enhances local protections by creating an enforcement mechanism. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $500 per day in accordance with the enforcement provisions.

“We want to Tacoma to be an inclusive city where all people can participate and contribute to our community,” stated Mayor Victoria Woodards. “This ordinance makes the social connections and information provided in community gathering spaces more accessible to our friends and family who are hard of hearing or deaf, and there is also the potential for businesses to increase their revenues as more people feel welcomed.”

The City stated that it will be communicating with businesses and the community about the new ordinance before it goes into effect.

Thumbnail photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash