Autism friendly cinema screenings

A couple of weeks ago I blogged on the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, campaigning about the poor access that disabled people encounter during something as taken for granted as going to the cinema.

As I noted at the time:

[I]t’s the things that non-disabled people wouldn’t even think of that often scupper the opportunities for disabled people to have the same opportunity to participate equally – in this case, going to the cinema.

In the spirit of sharing good news as well as bad, I was taken by this: Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings

Cinemas are to start staging monthly autism friendly screenings of top films. The move comes after the hugely successful summer pilot which saw more than 3,000 people affected by autism attend special morning screenings.

Sensory friendly screenings will now be taking place monthly in 55 cinemas.

Admittedly, the screenings – the result of a partnership between Dimensions and ODEON – will only be monthly. But at least the particular barriers faced by people with autism have been identified, and the organisations involved should be congratulated for their work on this.

For information: the next screening will be of Johnny English Reborn (during week commencing 14 October), followed by Arthur Christmas (during week commencing 18 November).

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rich_w

Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

One thought on “Autism friendly cinema screenings”

  1. I think this is a positive step and I know some theatres do the same and also allow free tickets for carers. The key to making this work in practice though, I think, is staff training. That side of the issue was raised by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers: ‘One in three of the major chain cinemas have bad or very bad staff disability awareness’ http://www.mdctrailblazers.org/campaigns/682

    This is partly because sometimes there can be a conflict between official policy and the way it is implemented, perhaps an example of this is this recent negative story I read about the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-14727779 ,hard to tell from this story what actually went wrong but the result was certainly bad for all involved, which is sad.

    Good to see big brands like Odeon taking steps to improve access though, I hope it takes off.

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