(a) General. 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, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that taking those steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or would result in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense.
(b) Examples. The term “auxiliary aids and services” includes -
(1) Qualified interpreters on-site or through video remote interpreting (VRI) services; notetakers; real-time computer-aided transcription services; written materials; exchange of written notes; telephone handset amplifiers; assistive listening devices; assistive listening systems; telephones compatible with hearing aids; closed caption decoders; open and closed captioning, including real-time captioning; voice, text, and video-based telecommunications products and systems, including text telephones (TTYs), videophones, and captioned telephones, or equally effective telecommunications devices; videotext displays; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making aurally delivered information available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;
(2) Qualified readers; taped texts; audio recordings; Brailled materials and displays; screen reader software; magnification software; optical readers; secondary auditory programs (SAP); large print materials; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals who are blind or have low vision;
(3) Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and
(4) Other similar services and actions.
(c) Effective communication.
(1) A public accommodation shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities. This includes an obligation to provide effective communication to companions who are individuals with disabilities.
(i) For purposes of this section, “companion” means a family member, friend, or associate of an individual seeking access to, or participating in, the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a public accommodation, who, along with such individual, is an appropriate person with whom the public accommodation should communicate.
(ii) The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the method of communication used by the individual; the nature, length, and complexity of the communication involved; and the context in which the communication is taking place. A public accommodation should consult with individuals with disabilities whenever possible to determine what type of auxiliary aid is needed to ensure effective communication, but the ultimate decision as to what measures to take rests with the public accommodation, provided that the method chosen results in effective communication. In order to be effective, auxiliary aids and services must be provided in accessible formats, in a timely manner, and in such a way as to protect the privacy and independence of the individual with a disability.
(2) A public accommodation shall not require an individual with a disability to bring another individual to interpret for him or her.
(3) A public accommodation shall not rely on an adult accompanying an individual with a disability to interpret or facilitate communication, except -
(i) In an emergency involving an imminent threat to the safety or welfare of an individual or the public where there is no interpreter available; or
(ii) Where the individual with a disability specifically requests that the accompanying adult interpret or facilitate communication, the accompanying adult agrees to provide such assistance, and reliance on that adult for such assistance is appropriate under the circumstances.
(4) A public accommodation shall not rely on a minor child to interpret or facilitate communication, except in an emergency involving an imminent threat to the safety or welfare of an individual or the public where there is no interpreter available.
(1) When a public accommodation uses an automated-attendant system, including, but not limited to, voicemail and messaging, or an interactive voice response system, for receiving and directing incoming telephone calls, that system must provide effective real-time communication with individuals using auxiliary aids and services, including text telephones (TTYs) and all forms of FCC-approved telecommunications relay systems, including Internet-based relay systems.
(2) A public accommodation that offers a customer, client, patient, or participant the opportunity to make outgoing telephone calls using the public accommodation's equipment on more than an incidental convenience basis shall make available accessible public telephones, TTYs, or other telecommunications products and systems for use by an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, or has a speech impairment.
(3) A public accommodation may use relay services in place of direct telephone communication for receiving or making telephone calls incident to its operations.
(4) A public accommodation shall respond to telephone calls from a telecommunications relay service established under title IV of the ADA in the same manner that it responds to other telephone calls.
(5) This part does not require a public accommodation to use a TTY for receiving or making telephone calls incident to its operations.
(e) Closed caption decoders. Places of lodging that provide televisions in five or more guest rooms and hospitals that provide televisions for patient use shall provide, upon request, a means for decoding captions for use by an individual with impaired hearing.
(f) Video remote interpreting (VRI) services. A public accommodation that chooses to provide qualified interpreters via VRI service shall ensure that it provides -
(1) Real-time, full-motion video and audio over a dedicated high-speed, wide-bandwidth video connection or wireless connection that delivers high-quality video images that do not produce lags, choppy, blurry, or grainy images, or irregular pauses in communication;
(2) A sharply delineated image that is large enough to display the interpreter's face, arms, hands, and fingers, and the participating individual's face, arms, hands, and fingers, regardless of his or her body position;
(3) A clear, audible transmission of voices; and
(4) Adequate training to users of the technology and other involved individuals so that they may quickly and efficiently set up and operate the VRI.
(g) Movie theater captioning and audio description -
(1) Definitions. For the purposes of this paragraph (g) -
(i) Analog movie means a movie exhibited in analog film format.
(ii) Audio description means the spoken narration of a movie's key visual elements, such as the action, settings, facial expressions, costumes, and scene changes. Audio description generally requires the use of an audio description device for delivery to a patron.
(iii) Audio description device means the individual device that a patron may use at any seat to hear audio description.
(iv) Captioning device means the individual device that a patron may use at any seat to view closed movie captioning.
(v) Closed movie captioning means the written display of a movie's dialogue and non-speech information, such as music, the identity of the character who is speaking, and other sounds or sound effects. Closed movie captioning generally requires the use of a captioning device for delivery of the captions to the patron.
(vi) Digital movie means a movie exhibited in digital cinema format.
(vii) Movie theater means a facility, other than a drive-in theater, that is owned, leased by, leased to, or operated by a public accommodation and that contains one or more auditoriums that are used primarily for the purpose of showing movies to the public for a fee.
(viii) Open movie captioning means the written on-screen display of a movie's dialogue and non-speech information, such as music, the identity of the character who is speaking, and other sounds and sound effects.
(2) General. A public accommodation shall ensure that its movie theater auditoriums provide closed movie captioning and audio description whenever they exhibit a digital movie that is distributed with such features. Application of the requirements of paragraph (g) of this section is deferred for any movie theater auditorium that exhibits analog movies exclusively, but may be addressed in a future rulemaking.
(3) Minimum requirements for captioning devices. A public accommodation shall provide a minimum number of fully operational captioning devices at its movie theaters in accordance with the following Table:
|Number of movie theater auditoriums exhibiting
(4) Minimum requirements for audio description devices.
(i) A public accommodation shall provide at its movie theaters a minimum of one fully operational audio description device for every two movie theater auditoriums exhibiting digital movies and no less than two devices per movie theater. When calculation of the required number of devices results in a fraction, the next greater whole number of devices shall be provided.
(ii) A public accommodation may comply with the requirements in paragraph (g)(4)(i) of this section by using the existing assistive listening receivers that the public accommodation is already required to provide at its movie theaters in accordance with Table 219.3 of the 2010 Standards, if those receivers have a minimum of two channels available for sound transmission to patrons.
(5) Performance requirements for captioning devices and audio description devices. Each captioning device and each audio description device must be properly maintained by the movie theater to ensure that each device is fully operational, available to patrons in a timely manner, and easily usable by patrons. Captioning devices must be adjustable so that the captions can be viewed as if they are on or near the movie screen, and must provide clear, sharp images in order to ensure readability of captions.
(6) Alternative technologies.
(i) A public accommodation may meet its obligation to provide captioning and audio description in its movie theaters to persons with disabilities through any technology so long as that technology provides communication as effective as that provided to movie patrons without disabilities.
(ii) A public accommodation may use open movie captioning as an alternative to complying with the requirements specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, either by providing open movie captioning at all showings of all movies available with captioning, or whenever requested by or for an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing prior to the start of the movie.
(7) Compliance date for providing captioning and audio description.
(i) A public accommodation must comply with the requirements in paragraphs (g)(2)-(6) of this section in its movie theaters that exhibit digital movies by June 2, 2018.
(ii) If a public accommodation converts a movie theater auditorium from an analog projection system to a system that allows it to exhibit digital movies after December 2, 2016, then that auditorium must comply with the requirements in paragraph (g) of this section by December 2, 2018, or within 6 months of that auditorium's complete installation of a digital projection system, whichever is later.
(8) Notice. On or after January 17, 2017, whenever a public accommodation provides captioning and audio description in a movie theater auditorium exhibiting digital movies, it shall ensure that all notices of movie showings and times at the box office and other ticketing locations, on Web sites and mobile apps, in newspapers, and over the telephone, inform potential patrons of the movies or showings that are available with captioning and audio description. This paragraph does not impose any obligation on third parties that provide information about movie theater showings and times, so long as the third party is not part of or subject to the control of the public accommodation.
(9) Operational requirements. On or after January 17, 2017, whenever a public accommodation provides captioning and audio description in a movie theater auditorium exhibiting digital movies, it shall ensure that at least one employee is available at the movie theater to assist patrons seeking or using captioning or audio description whenever a digital movie is exhibited with these features. Such assistance includes the ability to -
(i) Locate all necessary equipment that is stored and quickly activate the equipment and any other ancillary systems required for the use of the captioning devices and audio description devices;
(ii) Operate and address problems with all captioning and audio description equipment prior to and during the movie;
(iii) Turn on open movie captions if the movie theater is relying on open movie captioning to meet the requirements of paragraph (g)(3) of this section; and
(iv) Communicate effectively with individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing or who are blind or have low vision, about how to use, operate, and resolve problems with captioning devices and audio description devices.
(10) This section does not require the use of open movie captioning as a means of compliance with paragraph (g) of this section, even if providing closed movie captioning for digital movies would be an undue burden.
(h) Alternatives. If provision of a particular auxiliary aid or service by a public accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense, the public accommodation shall provide an alternative auxiliary aid or service, if one exists, that would not result in an alteration or such burden but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered by the public accommodation.