Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (ACAAA)
Are you frustrated when flying and you open the movie/tv options to find very little or none are captioned? Also, having no idea what is being said during the PA announcements? So many of us share the same stories about our frustrations with these problems when we fly on planes. That’s not equal access. And it’s disappointing that the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and airlines still have not made improvements in decades. HOWEVER! There’s now a new bill that will fix this: the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (ACAAA). The bill (S. 545 and H.R. 1267) would require the DOT to develop rules to require accessible PA announcements and captioned videos on planes.
Contact your Representative and Senator to ask them to support this bill. You can download the templates below and edit the letters that best fits you. Deaf travelers deserve equal access when we fly!
Copy/Paste letter template for Senators
United States Senate
[Senator Address] [Senator Office Building]
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senator [name]:
This letter is to support the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (ACAAA), S. 545, and ask that you co-sponsor this legislation. This bill would ensure I have equal access to air travel by requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop regulations mandating accessible PA announcements and captioned in-flight entertainment (IFE).
Although airlines have provided IFE for many decades, it remains inaccessible for deaf and hard of hearing passengers who are entitled to the same enjoyment as hearing passengers. Despite being a modern form of travel, airlines are essentially the last frontier of uncaptioned videos.
In this age of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, captioning is technically and economically feasible on all forms of displays right now, and no further delay is needed. Moreover, captioning is now ubiquitous on every form of Internet video streaming service and nearly every movie shown in a movie theater is also captioned. IFE is truly the last area to be fully captioned. Airlines can no longer contend that the video content they seek to show on IFE do not have caption files. The reality is that the vast majority, if not all, of the videos that are shown on IFE already are captioned elsewhere. Moreover, some airlines are already providing captioning for a limited set of videos which demonstrate the feasibility of captioned IFE, but such captioning access is limited and haphazard rather than uniformly available. In addition, airlines often use programs that do not identify upfront which content is accessible, forcing consumers to check every title to see whether it is accessible to them.
Moreover, we do not have access to aural-only PA announcements, which can be dangerous in an emergency in the air. We pay the same price for tickets as hearing passengers yet do not receive the same service. That is inequitable.
The time has come to rectify the USDOT’s failure to mandate captioned IFE and access to PA announcements as part of its effort to address equity.
Please support S. 545. My rights to equal access in the air depend on it.