This site is a one-stop place for businesses, consumers, and advocates interested in making public TV sets accessible in Portland, Oregon or other places.
 
On November 18, 2015, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance requiring all TVs in public places have the captioning turned on during business hours. This ordinance became effective on December 18, 2015.

This grassroots effort was led by concerned Portlanders who love watching captions on TV to help:
  • People who are not able to hear,
  • Everyone understand important information in noisy areas,
  • People enjoy television even if the sound is turned off or on mute,
  • Comprehension for people using English as a second language, and
  • Children's reading skills while watching TV.

We call our group Portland: Turn On The Captions Now!
 
Access to information is a basic civil right. Without knowing any details, we cannot function well in today's world. Here are several points...
  • Catching up on the news on TV is next to impossible in a noisy bar or waiting area. Have you tried asking your server to turn the captions on the screen, only to find that the server doesn’t how to turn on the captions, or the TV remote is missing? Requiring captions to be shown on all public TV sets all the time will ensure that you can always get the information you need anywhere in Portland.
  • Televisions are widely used in public facilities, such as hospital waiting rooms, bars, restaurants, health clubs, bus stations, appliance stores, and the airport. All televisions in use today have the capability to display closed captioning.
  • Televisions in these locations enable anyone to watch the latest news reports, be informed in an emergency, watch their local sports teams in action, or simply pass the time while waiting for an appointment or service to be completed.
  • One in five Americans have hearing disabilities, and that large population of Portlanders should never be excluded from accessing crucial information.
  • Additionally, excessive background noise interferes with comprehension of audio information for almost everyone else.
  • Federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) are limited in this regard. The ADA, however, does not prevent the City of Portland from imposing more strict requirements locally.
  • With broad public support, the City of San Francisco passed similar ordinances in 2008. The state of Maryland passed a similar law in 2010. Furthermore, the US Department of Transportation imposed similar rules for airports in 2015. 
 
We hope to see similar legislation passed in other jurisdictions around the country.