Oct 132011

Department of Justice Announces Settlement Agreement with The Price is Right;

Auxiliary Aids and Services for Effective Communication Required Under ADA


The U.S. Department of Justice has announced a settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act with The Price is Right game show, Fremantle Productions (its producer) and CBS Broadcasting Inc. (provider of the facilities and related services for the show’s production).  You can view the agreement at http://www.ada.gov/price-is-right.htm.


Of particular interest to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing are:


Item 6 of the agreement, which notes that the ADA requires that public accommodations must provide auxiliary aids and services when necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities, and remove barriers for access by individuals with disabilities when it is readily achievable to do so.


Item 18, which says The Price is Right will provide written policies and procedures for providing auxiliary aids and services to achieve effective communication with individuals with disabilities in connection with the show.  The Department of Justice will review the proposed policy and provide written comments; 30 days after revision of the policy to address these comments is submitted to the Department of Justice it will be implemented by The Price is Right.


Item 32 on website accessibility, which requires The Price is Right website to provide “text captions synchronized with the video image to make video and audio tracks accessible to people who are deaf or hard of  hearing.”  Freemantle is also to include a consideration on the The Price is Right sites that “if sounds play automatically, visual notification and captions will be provided”.


There’s also a requirement that The Price is Right employees and contractors who have contact with members of the public will have an ADA training.


Freemantle Productions is to hire an ADA Coordinator and have a toll-free number, email address, and postal address for providing customer service and receiving ADA complaints.  They’ll be conducting outreach to encourage individuals with disabilities to attend tapings of the show.


This action was originally sparked by a complaint regarding wheelchair seating.  An investigation of the complaint found several barriers that had not been removed at the Bob Barker Studio and that The Price is Right website was not fully accessible, nor did it have information on wheelchair seating, auxiliary aids and services, or other accommodations that contestants or those desiring to attend the show would need.
The Price is Right agreed to use eligibility criteria that will not screen out individuals with disabilities and said it will modify its policies, practices and procedures.

– Thanks to NVRC, Fairfax (09/21/11)