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Deaf fans win in FedEx Field case

The Washington Redskins are on a roll, and now they can share their thus-far successful season with an even wider range of fans.

FedEx Field must provide its deaf and hard-of-hearing clients with “equal access to aural content” broadcast in the stadium, a federal judge has ruled.

According to a report that first appeared in The Daily Record, our Dolan Media sister paper in Baltimore, the judge’s decision is a win for three longtime Redskins fans who sued WFI Inc. and Pro Football Inc., the stadium’s owner and operator.

This decision is the first time any court has required a stadium to provide captioning of any sporting event, said Joseph B. Espo, the Baltimore lawyer who represented the fans.

Greenbelt U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. ruled that under the Americans With Disabilities Act the Redskins’ captioning was not optional but required, according to a Washington Post report. The defendants had voluntarily started captioning of the play-by-play, but the court ordered expansion of that service to include spelling out of such stadium anthems as, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

By Deborah Elkins

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