16 Apr 2018 Verbit Editorial
3min read

Florida ensures disabilities guidelines are followed

Universities, broadcasting and television companies, and many more content creators are scrambling to adhere to the ADA by making all their public content accessible to everyone, especially those with disabilities. Florida and many states alike are paying closer attention to the guidelines required at the federal and state level. As you may have read in our last post, Why are people suddenly interested in transcription, transcription is a growing service and it’s here to stay. Captions must meet the 99% minimum accuracy to comply with the law. Captioning online videos has become a priority and Verbit is here to meet our society’s need.

Regarding Florida, the state with some of the largest universities in the country, adherence to the ADA is a necessity for a few reasons:

1. Naturally, these large universities have more students with disabilities than the average school.

2. These large public institutions become a target for the ADA to come after if online content isn’t in compliance.

3. Many universities don’t professionally caption with high accuracy, which is a violation.

Florida Law

The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on handicap. The Act covers public and private employers with 15 or more employees (FL Stat. Sec. 760.01 et seq.)

Federal Law

The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed in 1990 and broadened in 2008, enforces the rule requiring accessibility. Title 2 regarding Public Entities and Title 3 regarding Public Accommodations are linked to online video capturing by stating “auxiliary aids”. Video captioning must meet the 99% accuracy level to adhere to the ADA.

Whom does it apply to?

State offices and facilities; museums; libraries; all educational institutions; movie theatres; convention centres; airports; hotels; parks; hospitals; online services and products made publicly available.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities; this regards to websites, email, or web documents. For video content, it specifically requires closed captions. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects the civil rights of those with disabilities requiring equal access for them all. This also means that closed captioning must be provided for the deaf community or those who are hard of hearing.

Whom does it apply to?

US federal offices and all their services and communications; any organization receiving federal funding; universities and colleges that receive federal grants.

The Florida courts analyse all disability discrimination cases “under state law in conformity with the ADA and related regulations.”

(Tourville v. Securex, Inc., 769 So. 2d 491 (FL 4th Dist. 2000))

33 states have adopted Section 508 and its federal regulations into their own laws or created their own standards. Florida has yet to do so, meaning they abide by their own in addition to the federal requirement. With some schools in the state reaching up to 50,000 students, it’s the responsible thing to do to make each student feel special and as if they are in a smaller institution. We’ve seen some large, public institutions take the next step towards captioning and transcription. We’re excited to help them help their students by providing captioned videos.

Both federal and local governments are cracking down on online content and its accessibility to those with disabilities. With the increased attention to the regulations by associations, stricter laws, and increased demand for those services by public entities, Verbit is here to help!