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State Rep. Chris Campbell speaks on bipartisan closed-captioning bill denied a vote

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) today commented on legislation expanding the rights of Hoosiers with disabilities that died on the Indiana House of Representative's second reading deadline.

Campbell, an audiologist, co-authored House Bill 1261 which would have required an owner or operator of a public accommodation to activate closed captioning on all television receivers that are in use during regular hours. The legislation passed out of the Indiana House Commerce Committee with an 11-1 vote.

“When it comes to building an accessible space, so often little things that are easily overlooked make all the difference,” said Campbell. “For people like some of the patients I work with as an audiologist, having access to closed-captioning is hugely important. 5.2 percent of Hoosiers suffer from severe hearing disabilities. That's about 350,000 Hoosiers who this bill would have directly helped.

“We wrote this with bipartisan backing. It was passed out of committee on a bipartisan vote. In a time where we hear so much talk praising bipartisanship, it is jarring to see cooperation like this get tossed aside. But this problem is not going away. I will continue to work together with my colleagues to ensure Indiana is safe and accessible for all Hoosiers.”

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