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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Closed captioning may soon be required for Student Government’s videos after a bill was unanimously passed during first readings at Tuesday’s student government meeting.

The bill requires closed captioning on prerecorded SG social media videos, said Senator Branden Pearson (Lakeside, Independent), an author to the bill.

When captioning the videos, SG will have to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s guidelines for internet video closed captioning.

“I think this is a great step forward to ensure Student Government is accessible for every Gator,” Pearson said.

Just days before his term ended, Student Body President Smith Meyers vetoed a similar bill. The veto was upheld in a later meeting.

When writing the new bill, Pearson said he only contacted one author, Preston Jones, of the original bill. He contacted other SG members but did not say he contacted anyone from the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Among the vetoed bill’s authors was Senator Zachariah Chou (Murphree, Inspire).

Chou said he and the other authors consulted people who are members of or work with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Chou said he believes the authors of the new bill should have contacted these groups, too.

The originally proposed version of the new bill referenced the Americans with Disabilities Act as the “American with Disabilities Act.” The bill was amended before voting took place.

“I just more wanted to emphasize how important it is to include (the) community, the deaf and hard of hearing community, because those people quickly point out that Americans with Disabilities was misspelled in the legislation,” Chou said at Tuesday’s meeting.  

Follow Gillian Sweeney on Twitter @gilliangsweeney and contact her at gsweeney@alligator.org.

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