Accessibility is a major priority for BFI Film Audience Network (FAN).
Toki Allison, our BFI FAN Access Officer has gathered a valuable list of useful accessibility resources to consider for creating accessible screenings for a range of different audiences. Bookmark it now!
Dementia-friendly screenings: A guide for cinemas
Download the PDF of the guide (via Film Hub Wales website) which includes top tips, case studies, useful contacts and programming ideas.
Launched in connection with Alzheimer’s Society.
- Case study: Musical Matinee from Film Hub South East
- Report on cinema programme run by Dukes Lancaster (See also A Life More Ordinary)
- 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 (these are at a cost) – however, it also has 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 to expand autism-friendly screenings nationwide.
- There are some facts & figures here.
- This is a useful report carried out by Film Hub Wales and Contact A Family.
- The ICO has a section with some brief guidance on autism-friendly screenings at the bottom of this page.
- UK Theatre has 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 has 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 transferable.
- Make your copy more accessible: How easy is it to read your film descriptions? Get advice from Andy Rae, Film Hub Central East Coordinator about increasing the readability of your film descriptions within your websites and brochures.
- If you’re running special events for Carers (perhaps during #CarersWeek in June), you can find resources on the Carers Week website and list your events.
- Download various Carers Week resources.
- Become part of a Carer Friendly Community.
- Carers UK has a great rights guide and self-advocacy toolkit on its website
- And don’t forget the CEA card scheme.
- 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.
You’ll hear about cinema-specific toolkits to support accessible screenings for a range of different audiences, along with training opportunities, through your Film Hub South East enewsletter, so make sure you’re signed up if you’re not already.
Read the new BFI FAN Access Strategy [PDF], which is designed to support audiences with additional needs. Further resources, toolkits and how-to guides for screenings are in development.