Deaf Washington Redskins Fans Win Stadium Access Case
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled today 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.
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the law firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP filed this lawsuit in August 2006 on the behalf of deaf and hard of hearing Redskins fans Shane Feldman, Brian Kelly, and Paul Singleton who attend Redskins home games at FedExField. The United States Court of Appeals’ ruling fully affirms the United States District Court’s ruling in September 2008 that the Redskins must provide auxiliary aids and services to make the game-day experience fully accessible to deaf and hard