Hearing loss is a significant problem in the United States. Television receivers are increasingly used in facilities open to the general public, including hospital waiting rooms, bars and restaurants, health clubs, bus stations, airport lounges, and appliance stores. Television receivers in these locations enable members of the general public to obtain the latest news reports in an emergency, watch local sports teams, or simply pass the time while waiting for an appointment or service to be completed. People with hearing disabilities should not be excluded from being able to meaningfully participate in the activities while in public areas.
In order to avoid screening out those members of the general public who are deaf or hard of hearing in places of public accommodation, there is now a requirement that closed captioning be activated so as to not exclude, deny service, segregate or otherwise treat those with hearing disabilities different from being able to fully participate in or experience the full benefits of the television programming offered to the public in those settings.
You may want to print out our fact sheet about the new requirement and take it with you when you visit a public place and plan to ask for the captions to be activated. The requirement is new, so it may take time for businesses to understand it.