The most important advancement within the movie industry over the last 10 years has nothing to do with Blu Rays, Dolby Surround Sound, IMAX or 3D screens but instead the improvement of accessibility for disabled people so that they too can enjoy the cinema as much as everyone else. Subtitles have been around for a long time to aid deaf people but in recent years different formats have been released to help others out.
Audio-described screenings (AD) have been created to help blind or visually impaired people enjoy a movie as much as everybody else. The film is overlaid with an audio commentary that not only has what the characters are saying on but also a description of the characters expressions, actions and body language. It may sound a little chaotic but the descriptions by the voice over agencies that take care of this are designed to fit in to the silent gaps within the film so that you don’t miss any dialogue. The system is delivered via an infrared system that connects to the headphones the user is wearing. This way it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the people watching the film but doesn’t mean they have to have a special screening for each film that AD is available on.
One of the newest accessibility options that is only just being rolled out on a wide scale basis around the world are autism friendly screenings. The difference between a normal screening and an autism friendly one on the whole are to do with sensory issues, autistic people often find it uncomfortable in the pitch black cinema when watching a film so the lights are left on low, the volume is also lower than in a normal film and people are free to make noise and move around the cinema as they please. The cinema is an unusual environment and these screenings are all about making people feel as comfortable as possible. Customers are free to enter the cinema before the screening and get used to the surroundings before hand in more extreme cases. A CEA (Cinema Exhibitors Association) card isn’t needed either for an autism friendly screening, this card is only needed to prove you receive disability benefits and are therefore entitled to cheaper entry to films.
Carers get big discounts with most cinema companies as well and are also able to attend any of the above showings to help make the viewer more comfortable. Take a look at where you nearest cinema is that offers this service.
Sarah Hewitt is an experience writer who writes about anything and everything that interests her, this can range from travel to business, sport and electronics. You can contact her via her Twitter page or Google+