I’m interested to see how the Redskins will pull this off…and how many other NFL teams will follow suit.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled [March 25th] that the Washington Redskins must make all audio projected into the stadium bowl over the public address system accessible to deaf and hard of hearing fans. The court held that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires the Redskins to “provide auxiliary aids beyond assistive listening devices, which are useless to plaintiffs, to convey the: (1) game-related information broadcast over the public address system, including play information and referee calls; (2) emergency and public address announcements broadcast over the public address system; and (3) the words to music and other entertainment broadcast over the public address system.” The Court explained that the Redskins “provide more than a football game” and that deaf and hard of hearing fans “need access to this aural content to have full and equal access” to the game-day experience at FedExField, where the Redskins play their home games.
“This case is a tremendous victory for deaf and hard of hearing fans – not only Redskins fans, but all sports fans who want to fully enjoy the same game-day experience as their hearing counterparts,” said Bobbie Beth Scoggins, NAD President. “We expect sports stadiums around the country to take note of this groundbreaking decision.”