We are committed to campaigning to remove any barriers in the way of people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss – so they can live the life they choose. A big part of this is helping to ensure access to leisure activities, such as visiting the cinema. We’ve already been working closely with the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) to do this, but there‘s more to do. Your help in providing feedback would help cinemas improve further.
Great progress has been made: there are now almost 1,200 subtitled screenings each week in over 400 different cinema sites around the UK. In this section we outline the type of adjustments that cinemas can put in place so that cinemagoers who are deaf or have hearing loss can enjoy a trip to the movies – and what you can do if a cinema isn’t accessible to you.
In England, Scotland and Wales, the Equality Act 2010 protects against unlawful discrimination by service providers because of your deafness or hearing loss. Those providing services to the public, including cinemas, have a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' so that people with disabilities are able to access their services. In Northern Ireland, this is set out in the Disability Discrimination Act, which provides similar protection.
Many cinemas have taken and continue to take steps to be accessible, for example, by providing listening equipment such as a hearing loop or infrared system, and offering subtitled screenings. If they don’t, ask the cinema to explain why.