(LANSING)– Mayor Andy Schor today highlighted over $100,000 in new investments to increase accessibility to Lansing City Council meetings, as well as other videos and shows produced by the Lansing Public Media Center. The improvements for Council meetings include the installation of assistive listening devices for the Hard of Hearing in the chamber and captioning of videos of all Council meetings.
“I am committed to ensuring that all residents have equal access to City Council Meetings and other City TV programs,” said Mayor Andy Schor. “These important improvements made by the Lansing Public Media Center will help provide accessibility to the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities in Lansing.”
The investments began in the 2018 budget year and will continue into the future. The captioning of Council meetings will be for rebroadcast and archival web versions. The City is awaiting a software update for live broadcasting captioning support on its current platform. The plan also includes captioning the city’s extensive archives of public access shows and government related events currently hosted on the website.
Lansing is one of the few municipalities in Michigan to make the investment in accessible technology to support the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing.
Annie Urasky, director of MDCR Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, hailed the city leadership for its vision and work. “Accessible government fulfills a key promise of democracy – government for all people,” said Urasky. “The City of Lansing has put its money behind transparency and access with the launch of captioned videos, including City Council meetings; and by installing devices to assist those who are hard of hearing to better access what is spoken in Council chambers during events and meetings. Simply saying we want to be accessible is not enough, government has to take action and I applaud the City of Lansing for doing just that.”