Country Focus: UK
UK cinemas raising access awareness
by Naman Ramachandran
08/05/2009 - UK cinemas will screen a new ad aimed at increasing audience awareness of audio described and subtitled screenings from the end of May. This is in accordance with the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association’s (CEA) Best Practice Guidelines for the Provision of Services to Disabled Customers and the Employment of Disabled People publication.
By end 2008, around 300 UK cinemas had provided subtitled and audio described films for people with hearing or sight disabilities. And currently, there are more than 700 films available in accessible formats with over 2000 subtitled screenings every month.
The new advertisement, which is produced by Creative Mwldan, hopes to raise what is still perceived as low awareness of the available facilities, for example, the CEA Card that allows people with disabilities to get one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema, which is supported by 90% of UK cinemas.
CEA Chief Executive Phil Clapp said, “I am hugely grateful to industry colleagues for all of their support in bringing this advert to the screen. We very much hope that it will encourage a large number of customers with disabilities to recognise that the cinema is for them as much as it is for any other member of the public.”
Jo Campion, head of Campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said, “Every deaf child has the right to the same opportunities as a hearing child, and that includes being able to enjoy going to the cinema to see the latest films. The National Deaf Children’s Society welcomes the new cinema advert and hopes it will lead to greater awareness of the availability and importance of subtitled films for deaf children and young people.”