The BFI Film Audience Network has recently appointed Toki Allison in the role of Access Officer. Toki is based at Film Hub Wales and is working UK wide to help develop access to cinemas and venues that screen films.
Toki has begun to develop a pool of UK resources, links, case studies and guides for audiences with additional needs, with long term goals to develop year-round events, training and national opportunities.
Here are a few useful links, articles and resources that she’s put together that may be of interest to Hub Members:
- Case study: Musical Matinee from Film Hub South East
- Report on cinema programme run by Dukes Lancaster (A Life More Ordinary)
- Dukes have successfully rolled out this programme to several cinemas and have some other toolkits and resources they may be happy to share with you. Gil Graystone ran the project
- Great work being done by Tyneside Cinemas
- West Yorkshire Playhouse’s case study for live performance
- This guide from the Alzheimer’s Society on being a dementia friendly venue is a good starting point
- Then you may want to book in a Dementia Friends Champion to come and provide free Dementia Friends training to your staff and volunteers.
- Innovations in Dementia can provide building audits (I believe these are at a cost) – however, they have provided this DIY guide as well.
- Talk to your local Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project [DEEP] network group to get advice directly from people living with dementia. No-one is better placed to let you know what changes you might need to make to get your venue suitable.
- Dimensions are working with the commercial sector to expand autism-friendly screenings nationwide. I am looking at working with them and the National Autistic Society for the indie sector but yet to begin putting that work together. Here’s some more detail on what they currently offer.
- There are some facts & figures here.
- This is a useful report carried out by Film Hub Wales and Contact A Family.
- The ICO have a section with some brief guidance on autism-friendly screenings at the bottom of this page.
- UK Theatre have produced a useful guide on assisted performances which covers relaxed performances alongside other accessible performance types. Most of the practices are transferable to cinema.
- This is a free service of downloadable images that can be used for signage or pictorial communications.
- The ICO have just released this excellent set of resources on improving the experience for d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences. It’s pretty comprehensive so well worth a look.
- Plus there is some guidance from Action on Hearing Loss.
GENERAL ACCESS ADVICE
- The End the Awkward campaign by Scope is a great thing to share with staff and volunteers.
- This Cultivate guide asks a lot of useful questions to get you started. It is arts focused but many principles transferrable.
- UKCA’s CEA card scheme supports cinemas by clarifying terms by which a visitor, requiring reasonable adjustments and/or a carer/companion’s support to attend a screening, might attend. This can avoid difficult questions/awkward conversations at Box Office.
- The first port of call is often your website. Here’s some advice on ensuring you’re making your online information accessible for visitors.
- A great accessible marketing guide.