In the Minnesota tradition of commitment to access, the 2008 Legislature passed a law requiring all candidates for office who file with the Campaign Finance Board to caption their online and television ads and post transcripts of their radio ads. Minnesota citizens who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing and who want to get information about candidates through campaign ads will now be able to do so.
In the following captioned video, Minnesota Senator Ann Rest demonstrates the power of captioning in creating accessibility. A transcript of the audio content with video descriptions is also available.
You were able to read my introduction to this video, but not hear it. The captioning allowed you to see what I said. Captioning closes the communication gap between voters who can hear and voters who are Deaf and hard of hearing. That’s 10% of all voters in Minnesota.
We passed a new law in the 2008 legislative session. Candidates who accept public funding for their campaigns must now caption their ads on TV and online. They also need to post scripts of their radio ads on their web sites.
With captioning and script posting, all potential voters with access to televisions or computers will be able to hear, or see, campaign ads. It’s easy and inexpensive. It’s the law. But more importantly, it’s also an opportunity for candidates to engage more voters in their campaigns for public office.
[Graphic – For information on vendors who provide this service and more, contact: Minnesota Campaign Finance Board www.cfboard.state.mn.us & Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans www.mncdhh.org]