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NAD Sues for Captioning of Sport Events at University of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJLA) - An association that advocates for the deaf and hard of hearing has sued the University of Maryland for not captioning public address announcements during on-campus sporting events.

The Silver Spring-based National Association of the Deaf (NAD), along with a Baltimore law firm, filed suit against the school Tuesday on behalf of Sean Markel and fellow Terrapin fan Joseph Innes.

The lawsuit claims that Maryland is violating Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and states that the school needs to write whatever is being said on the public address system on the scoreboards and jumbotrons at Byrd Stadium and at the Comcast Center.

When Maryland star receiver Stefon Diggs makes a great play, most fans hear the details on the public address system.

But hearing-impaired fans like Sean Markel don’t.

“Often, I'm left out -- I don't know what's being announced," he said.

NAD executives say that teams nationwide need to make sure they cater to the needs of the hearing impaired.

"All professional and collegiate sports teams need to recognize that many fans, not just those who are deaf or hard of hearing, need captioning in sports stadiums and arenas to understand what is being announced," NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum said in a statement.

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