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S. 556 (113th): Air Carrier Access Amendments Act


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 13, 2013 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 556

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 13, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To amend title 49, United States Code, to improve the accessibility of entertainment programming provided by air carriers on passenger flights, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act .

2.

Accessibility of in-flight entertainment programming

(a)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 41705 the following:

41705a.

Accessibility of in-flight entertainment programming

(a)

In general

In providing air transportation, an air carrier, including (subject to section 40105(b)) any foreign air carrier, shall ensure that—

(1)

on and after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act , all visually displayed entertainment programming available to passengers on a flight is accessible to individuals with disabilities, including by—

(A)

providing, or making available, open captioning for individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, when such programming is available to passengers through shared video displays, such as a monitor located in a passenger access aisle;

(B)

providing, or making available, closed captioning for individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, when such programming is available to passengers through individual video displays; and

(C)

providing, or making available, video description for individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are blind or visually impaired, when such programming is available to passengers through individual video displays or shared video displays; and

(2)

not later than the effective date of the regulations prescribed under subsection (c)(2), all individual video displays that display entertainment programming or information to passengers on a flight that are operated primarily by using touchscreens or other contact-sensitive controls include a mechanism that allows individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are blind or visually impaired, to independently operate the displays in accordance with the standards prescribed under subsection (c).

(b)

Enforcement

(1)

In general

The remedies and procedures set forth in section 308(a) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 42 U.S.C. 12188(a) ), including the injunctive relief described in paragraph (2) of that section, shall be available to any person aggrieved by the failure of an air carrier to comply with subsection (a).

(2)

Enforcement by Attorney General

The provisions of section 308(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 42 U.S.C. 12188(b) ) shall apply with respect to the compliance of air carriers with subsection (a) to the same extent that those provisions apply with respect to the compliance of covered entities with title III of that Act ( 42 U.S.C. 12181 et seq. ).

(c)

Establishment of standards for operation of individual video displays

(1)

In general

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act , the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, prescribe standards in accordance with chapter 5 of title 5 (commonly known as the Administrative Procedure Act ) setting forth the minimum technical criteria for individual video displays described in subsection (a)(2) to ensure that such video displays include a mechanism that allows individuals with disabilities to operate the displays independently.

(2)

Regulations

Not later than 180 days after the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board issues standards under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to implement those standards and shall publish those regulations in an accessible format.

(3)

Review and amendment

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, in consultation with the Secretary, shall periodically review and, as appropriate, amend the standards prescribed under paragraph (1) in accordance with chapter 5 of title 5. Not later than 180 days after the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board issues amended standards under this paragraph, the Secretary shall make such revisions to the regulations prescribed under paragraph (2) as are necessary to implement the amended standards.

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Closed captioning

The term closed captioning means a method, process, or mechanism, which may include a device, that—

(A)

allows an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to have access to the content of visually displayed entertainment programming; and

(B)

allows that access by displaying, through an individual device or individually used technology, all of the audio portion of the programming (including displaying the dialogue and any narration, as well as descriptions of on- and off-screen sounds such as sound effects, music, or lyrics for music, and information identifying the character who is speaking) as text that can be effectively viewed and controlled by that individual while the individual simultaneously watches the programming.

(2)

Individual with a disability

The term individual with a disability means any person who has a disability as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 42 U.S.C. 12102 ).

(3)

Open captioning

The term open captioning means a method, process, or mechanism that—

(A)

allows an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to have access to the content of visually displayed entertainment programming; and

(B)

allows that access by openly displaying on the video display on which the programming is displayed all of the audio portion of the programming (including displaying the dialogue and any narration, as well as descriptions of on- and off-screen sounds such as sound effects, music, or lyrics for music, and information identifying the character who is speaking) as text that can be effectively viewed by that individual and other passengers while the individual and passengers simultaneously watch the programming.

(4)

Video description

The term video description means a method, process, or mechanism, including a device, that—

(A)

allows an individual who is blind or visually impaired to have access to the key visual elements of visually displayed entertainment programming (such as actions, settings, facial expressions, costumes, and scene changes); and

(B)

allows that access through the provision of contemporaneous audio narrated descriptions of those elements during the natural pauses in the audio portion of the programming, or during the audio portion if necessary.

(5)

Visually displayed entertainment programming

The term visually displayed entertainment programming means live televised events, recorded programming (including television programs), or motion pictures that are available to passengers, for a fee or without cost, on a flight in air transportation.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The analysis for chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 41705 the following:

41705a. Accessibility of in-flight entertainment programming.

.