We really want to applaud these cinemas ODEON, VUE, CINEWORLD, SHOWCASE & PICTUREHOUSE for hosting sensory friendly screenings of some great movies. These are made to be an inclusive and very welcoming environment for people with sensory sensitivities and their loved ones.
Understandably, the team at DIMENSIONS, one of the country’s largest not-for-profits supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs, are thrilled that after a challenging year, autism friendly cinema screenings are back!
Here at SOUTH WALES LIFE we echo that sentiment as we are great believers, and supporters of these screenings and the positive benefits they bring.
There will be some covid adjustments in place, and these will be dependent on the cinema. But Dimensions are working with all their partners to help autism friendly screenings get back into cinemas.
They do ask that you don’t move around the cinema while social distancing is in place.
It’s been a difficult year for the cinemas and they are just starting to settle back into being open, so I think we all need to exercise patience and understanding.
Autism friendly screenings are sometimes called relaxed or sensory friendly screenings. Adjustments are made to reduce stress and sensory input, such as low lighting and sound, freedom to move and staff trained in autism awareness.
These screenings would never have started or even continue in the way they do if it wasn’t for an incredible organisation called DIMENSIONS. They began, in a very small way, back in 1976. They we’re supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs out of institutions, helping them lead ordinary lives in their local communities.
All these years later and they’re pretty much the same, although with a huge amount of experience and extraordinary talent behind them They support people with learning disabilities and autism to have a louder voice, choice and control in their lives.
In many ways these screenings act as a transition into regular cinema screenings for some, while making the cinema more inclusive and accessible for everyone who feels they will benefit from the environment.
Sensory friendly adjustments include
- Sound and lights on low
- No trailers
- Freedom to move around
- Take your own food and drink
- Free entry for carers with a valid CEA Card
They offer these special screening in participating cinemas all across South Wales. If you are travelling around the country however and want to go to one of these special screenings just check on the DIMENSIONS link or the relevant cinema. These are so important and inclusive and the positive reaction is always good to hear…..
“Although I do not have autism I went to an autism friendly screening of The Good Dinosuar because I have hypervigilance, anxiety and hallucinations…I forgot to take my anxiety medication and I was still relaxed regardless! Thank you Dimensions…the cinema is now accessible.”
Jake absolutely loves going to the cinema and the Autism Friendly Screenings make his passion an absolute pleasure. See his story here.
See an autism friendly screening of RON’S GONE WRONG on Sunday 16th January.