The UK cinema sector is recognised as a world-leader in terms of its work to support and welcome disabled cinema-goers.
Many of the changes made by UK cinema operators in this regard pre-empted and indeed went further than the requirements placed on cinemas, and others providing goods, facilities or services to the public, by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, now superceded by the Equality Act 2010.
However, the Association and its members are aware that expectations around access rightly continue to increase, and so discuss and develop approaches in this area. These considerations are informed by the Association’s Disability Working Group, comprising representatives of the key circuits and equipment manufacturers as well as those groups representing people with disabilities.
The Association has in recent years distributed and revised detail guidance on best practice in this area, as well as developing a cross-industry training video and resource pack to ensure that all cinema staff are familiar with these issues.
The advent of digital cinema technology has provided a further boost to the availability of subtitled and audio described screenings; over 1,000 subtitled screenings are shown in UK cinemas each week. The Association continues to explore the extent to which new technologies can further improve this position.