Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Weekend screenings for autism friendly film

Autism Friendly Film screenings of family animation Arthur Christmas are to be shown this weekend, following calls for even greater accessibility from families and support groups that work with young people with autism. Arthur Christmas will be shown in a sensory-friendly environment at more than 50 ODEON cinemas around the UK at 11.30am on Sunday, November 13. Lights will be left on low, the volume will be turned down, trailers will be omitted and people can move around the cinema or make noise as they feel comfortable. Social care support provider Dimensions and ODEON launched the special screenings this summer to campaign for greater cinema access for people with autism. The success of the first screening, where more than 3,000 attended cinemas across the country, led to the announcement of monthly screenings at more than 50 cinemas. Since then, parents and family groups have pressed for weekend screenings so that families can enjoy films at a time more suitable for them.

Lisa Hopkins, Dimensions’ autism lead said: “When we first started our partnership with ODEON, the aim was to improve cinema accessibility for people with autism.  We also wanted to raise awareness of sensory differences and how by making a few small alterations to an environment, large organisations can make their offerings more inclusive. “The support we have had from the autism community has been overwhelming and thanks to their commitment to the campaign ODEON are now providing this service on a weekend which means that even more people will benefit.”

Roger Harris, COO of ODEON and UCI Cinemas Group, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the success of the Autism Friendly Film Screenings so far, so extending the offering to include weekend screenings seemed like the natural next step in our partnership with Dimensions. The response to the screenings has been incredibly positive.” To find your nearest participating cinema go to: www.dimensions-uk.org/autismfriendly

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