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Media Accessibility Information, Guidelines and Research

Public Law 85-905

Original text of Public Law 85-905, the public law that originally established Captioned Films for the Deaf. Also known as the Captioned Films Act of 1958.


September 2, 1958

[H.R. 13678]

To provide in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare for a loan service of captioned films for the deaf.

Loan service of films.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the objectives of this Act are—

  1. to bring to deaf persons understanding and appreciation of those films which play such an important part in the general and cultural advancement of hearing persons;
  2. to provide, through these films, enriched educational and cultural experiences through which deaf persons can be brought into better touch with the realities of their environment; and
  3. to provide a wholesome and rewarding experience which deaf persons may share together.

SEC. 2.

As used in this Act—

  1. The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
  2. The term "United States" means the several States, Territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia.
  3. The term "deaf person" includes a person whose hearing is severely impaired.

SEC. 3.

  1. In order to carry out the objectives of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a loan service of captioned films for the purpose of making such films available for nonprofit purposes to groups of deaf persons in the United States in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary.
  2. In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Secretary shall have authority to—
    1. Acquire films (or rights thereto) by purchase, lease, or gift.
    2. Provide for the captioning of films.
    3. Provide for distribution of captioned films through State schools for the deaf and such other agencies as the Secretary may deem appropriate to serve as local or regional centers for such distribution.
    4. Make use, consistent with the purposes of this Act, of films made available to the Library of Congress under the copyright laws.
    5. Utilize the facilities and services of other governmental agencies.
    6. Accept gifts, contributions, and voluntary and uncompensated services of individuals and organizations.

SEC. 4.


There are hereby authorized to be appropriated not to exceed $250,000 annually to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Approved September 2, 1958.

Tags: dcmp, history, captioning

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