Under the Air Carrier Access Act, which was introduced in 1986,airlines are required to offer either open captioning or sign language interpretation on all video safety briefings. Since beginning its service in 2007, Virgin America has failed to offer either. The US Department of Transportation has fined the airline $150,000 and ordered it to cease and desist from further violations of the Act.Virgin America has agreed to add captioning by 30 September 2013.
In a media release Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated, “Safety is our number-one priority and that includes ensuring that every airline passenger has access to airline safety briefings.
“We will continue to take enforcement action when our disability rules are violated so that all passengers are aware of critical, potentially life-saving information.”
In Australia there is no regulation ensuring access to airline safety videos or in-flight entertainment. Qantas, the largest airline, offers open captions on news bulletins produced by the Nine Network. Some other carriers, including Singapore Airlines, offer open captions on safety videos and closed captions on a limited number of movies.
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