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AARP AARP States Indiana Advocacy

Bloomington Common Council adopts closed captioning policy, increases accessibility

Bloomington, Ind. – At its December 13 meeting, the Bloomington Common Council adopted a new ordinance that will improve accessibility for people who are deaf or experiencing any kind of hearing loss.

Ordinance 23-31 requires that TV screens in public spaces (bars, city facilities, waiting rooms, etc.) have closed captioning on and will go into effect in 2025.

“This change impacts many people,” AARP Indiana State Director Sarah Waddle said. “Bloomington is being a leader and showing that small steps and actions can make a big difference for an even larger group of people.

“More than 30 million Americans cope with hearing loss, and they deserve to be included in everything from play-by-play commentary to severe weather warnings.”

AARP Indiana has advocated for similar closed captioning legislation statewide for several years and provided comments in support of Bloomington’s ordinance, alongside several organizations and community stakeholders that have worked diligently on the ordinance for months.

“Older Hoosiers want their communities to be livable and inclusive places to age and be a part of,” Waddle said. “Closed captioning is just one way to get our cities and towns closer to those ideals.”

You can read more about the ordinance and its nuances starting on page 73 of City of Bloomington’s Common Council legislative packet.

A person considers their remote controls for a closed captioning button.
Closed captioning will be more prevalent in Bloomington's public spaces.

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