Access at the Capitol

Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Access At the Capitol

Visiting the Minnesota State Capitol: A Guide to Accessibility Features for People with Disabilities (Accessible Video Series)

One of the goals of the Minnesota State Legislature is to make sure that everyone, including visitors with disabilities, has access to legislators and the legislative business conducted at the State Capitol.

This video series provides a tour of topics such as where to find help, information about accessible entrances and parking, and services for visitors who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing, have vision impairments, and/or limited mobility.

This video series is made accessible through American Sign Language (ASL), open captions, voiceovers, and Microsoft Word transcripts of audio content with video descriptions included.

Have Questions about Capitol Accessibility?

If you seek further information or assistance that is not available in this video series or on this webpage, you may send your requests, questions, and comments about accessibility services to the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) at LCC Email Address or 651-296-1121. The LCC is responsible for coordinating accessibility services at the State Capitol.

Acknowledgements and Credits

Special thanks for participating in this important project go to our community and staff volunteers, to Minnesota’s state legislators, Representative Jim Abeler and Senator Linda Berglin, and to the following state agencies and offices and their staff, including the House Public Information Services Office, the House Sergeant-at-Arms Office, the Legislative Coordinating Commission, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Plant Management Division, the Senate Media Services Office, and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Office.

Funds for this project were provided by the Telecommunications Access Fund through the Department of Commerce.

Videos produced by ZenMation for the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MNCDHH).

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ALDs: Assistive Listening Devices at the Capitol

To Obtain ALDs for Committee Meetings in the Capitol or State Office Building:

In the Capitol: Go to the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms’ office (Room G-1) in the Capitol and request an ALD for the committee room. Return the ALD to Room G-1 in the Capitol after the committee meeting is finished.

In the State Office Building: Go to the House Sergeant-at-Arms’ office (Room 190) in the State Office Building and request an ALD for the committee room, or go to the committee room 30 minutes early and ask a committee staff person or page for an ALD. Return the ALD to Room 190 in the State Office Building, or ask the committee staff person or page to return the ALD after the committee meeting is finished.

To Obtain ALDs for House or Senate Floor Sessions (Galleries) in the Capitol:

House Gallery: Go to the Chief Clerk’s Office (Room 211) in the Capitol and request an ALD for the House Gallery. When finished, return the ALD to Room 211 in the Capitol.

Senate Gallery: Ask the Sergeant-at-Arms located at the desk by the main entrance to the Senate Gallery for an ALD. When finished, leave the ALD on the Sergeant-at-Arms’ desk by the main entrance to the Senate Gallery.

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Sign Language Interpreters at the Capitol

To Obtain Interpreters for Meetings with a Legislator:

Please contact the legislator’s office at least 24 hours before you want to meet with the legislator. Tell the Legislative Assistant that you want to schedule a meeting with the legislator, and that you need a Sign Language Interpreter for the meeting. Include specific information about your interpreting preferences: ASL, Signed English, Tactile, etc.

To Obtain Interpreters for House or Senate Floor Sessions (Galleries) in the Capitol and Committee Meetings in the Capitol or State Office Building:

Call CSD at 651-224-6548 (V/TTY) or 877-456-7589 (V/TTY) to request a Sign Language Interpreter.

  • CSD cannot guarantee they will be able to find an interpreter for you. To increase the chance that CSD will be able to find an interpreter, please contact CSD at least 24 hours before you plan to go to the Capitol or State Office Building.
  • Give CSD:
    1. Your name
    2. Your phone/videophone/TTY number (contact info)
    3. Date of the committee meeting/floor session
    4. Time of the committee meeting/floor session
    5. Length of the committee meeting/floor session
    6. Location of the committee meeting/floor session
    7. Name of the committee meeting or floor session (House or Senate)
    8. Your preferences for interpreting (ASL, Signed English, tactile, etc.)
    9. Whether you are watching or testifying

To Obtain Interpreters Outside the Twin Cities:

For meetings with legislators or for hearings outside the Twin Cities, contact the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) at LCC Email Address or 651-296-1121, OR call CSD at 651-224-6548 (V/TTY) or 877-456-7589 (V/TTY).

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CART: Communications Access Real-time Translation at the Capitol

To Obtain CART for Meetings with a Legislator:

Please contact the legislator’s office at least 24 hours before you want to meet with the legislator. Tell the Legislative Assistant that you want to schedule a meeting with the legislator, and that you need CART for the meeting.

To Obtain CART for House or Senate Floor Sessions (Galleries) in the Capitol and Committee Meetings in the Capitol or State Office Building:

Contact the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) at LCC Email Address or 651-296-1121.

  • To increase the chance that the LCC will be able to schedule CART, please contact the LCC at least 24 hours before you plan to go to the Capitol or State Office Building.
  • Give the LCC:
    1. Your name
    2. Your phone/videophone/TTY number (contact info)
    3. Date of the committee meeting/floor session
    4. Time of the committee meeting/floor session
    5. Length of the committee meeting/floor session
    6. Location of the committee meeting/floor session
    7. Name of the committee meeting or floor session (House or Senate)
    8. Whether you are watching or testifying

To Obtain CART Outside the Twin Cities:

Because CART can be done remotely, CART can be requested if you are unable to travel to the Capitol to meet with legislators or attend hearings, and also if you want to meet with legislators or attend hearings outside the Twin Cities. Contact the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) at LCC Email Address or 651-296-1121.

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TTY and Amplified Pay Phones at the Capitol

TTY Pay Phones:

There is a TTY pay phone located on the first floor of the Capitol, next to the information desk near the main (south) entrance doors.

Amplified Pay Phones:

All pay phones at the Capitol are amplified and accessible for hearing aid users.

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CC: Closed Captioned Broadcasts at the Capitol

Closed Captioned Legislative Broadcasts At the Capitol:

There are TVs located in the hallways on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors of the State Capitol Building, and all of them can display closed captioning. Three channels (7, 17, and 36) show live events at the Capitol and State Office Building such as House and Senate floor sessions and committee meetings, but only Channel 17 has closed captioning available.

Closed Captioned Legislative Broadcasts On Television:

When the Legislature is in session, Minnesota public television’s tptMN channel broadcasts legislative programming with closed captions during weekdays (Monday-Friday) from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with extended coverage available for high-profile issues during evenings and on weekends. Check your local listings for the tptMN channel. The Legislature regularly updates the TV and online broadcast schedules for the House and Senate.

Closed Captioned Legislative Broadcasts Via WiFi Hotspots At the Capitol and Live Online:

Most of the State Capitol and State Office Building areas have free WiFi. Bring a laptop or your favorite mobile device and watch what is happening live at the House and Senate. The Legislature regularly updates the TV and online broadcast schedules for the House and Senate.

The Senate’s media webpage provides a Windows video stream with closed captions. Look for the CC logo on the right side of the Senate’s media webpage. The House’s media webpage also provides Windows video streams with closed captions.

You must have Windows Media Player to view the videos with captions. To turn on the captions, press Control+Shift+C all at once. To view captions for House videos, right-click on the video and zoom to full screen.

Closed Captioned Legislative Broadcast Archives:

Since February 20, 2011, all recorded videos of House and Senate floor sessions and committee meetings have closed captioning. Browse the House video archives and Senate video archives.

You must have Windows Media Player to view the videos with captions. To turn on the captions, press Control+Shift+C all at once. To view captions for House videos, right-click on the video and zoom to full screen.

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