Deaf advocates sue Redskins seeking closed-captioning

Updated: September 20, 2006, 3:13 PM ET
Associated Press

GREENBELT, Md. -- Advocates for the deaf are suing the Washington Redskins to get them to offer closed-captioning during games at FedEx Field.

The National Association of the Deaf filed the class-action lawsuit Aug. 31 in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on behalf of three Maryland fans who regularly attend home games.

"Providing captioning is not rocket science; it is simple, and it is the right thing to do," Shane Feldman said in a statement. Fedlman was joined in the suit by Paul Singleton and Brian M. Kelly.

They contend the team is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to provide captioning for the deaf and hearing-impaired. It asks the court to order the Redskins and stadium officials to provide and display captioning on scoreboards and video monitors for all announcements, plays and penalties.

NFL teams are not required by law to do so. Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson said the team considered a proposal to purchase captioning equipment, but the proposal was rejected by Feldman.

Feldman was concerned about a possible 10-minute delay, said Marc Charmatz, senior attorney with the National Association for the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center.

Swanson said the Redskins are considering providing deaf and hearing-impaired fans with 7-inch TVs that would pick up captioning in the stadium. He added that all emergency information is posted on the large screens and on TV monitors throughout the stadium.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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