closed captions

SPRINGFIELD – The number of adults in the United States with hearing loss is expected to jump from 44 million to 73 million by 2060. With a growing number of individuals residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) championed a measure requiring the use of closed captioning on televisions in hospitals and other care facilities.

Link’s plan – House Bill 3468 – was signed into law last week by Gov. Pritzker.

“For many experiencing hearing loss, background noise can make it especially difficult to hear what is being said,” Link said. “Turning on the closed captioning feature is a simple step that staff can take to ensure all viewers can enjoy what they are watching.”

House Bill 3468 requires hospitals, alternative health care models, Community Living Facilities, long-term care facilities, MC/DD facilities, ID/DD facilities, specialized mental health rehabilitation facilities, and community-integrated living arrangements to make reasonable efforts to have the closed captioning feature on a television activated at all times in a common area provided for use by the general public or in a patient's room.

The new law will bring Illinois into legal compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires certain health care facilities that provide televisions to use closed captioning for individuals with impaired hearing.

House Bill 3468 was signed into law on July 22, 2019 and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.