Well today has been a rather surprising one…
It all started when my family were thinking of going to watch the new James Bond film at the cinema, however because there aren’t any subtitles, I can’t go. I asked mum to at least phone the cinemas up to see waht they’ll say, because they still haven’t replied to my emails.
Let’s just say, It didn’t work out…
My mum had to battle with the manager of Odeon on the phone because they kept refusing to show one purely because “there isn’t demand” during the first week of a new film screening, which mum questioned: “you know that for a fact, do you?” People like me want to see certain films, just as much as anyone else! We have only been able to go to the cinema twice as a family in 18 years because of lack of subtitles! Also because hearing people complain about them, however there are 40 other showings they can go to on that day, but not even one for us deafies? In the words of Charlie Swinbourne, ‘We didn’t choose to be deaf!” My mum told her, that she is putting their narrow minded views before the rights of the disabled. I think they will more likely get more complaints from deaf/hard of hearing people who can’t go at all!
The manager finally relented, grudgingly as my mum clearly wasn’t taking no for an answer and decided to put one on at 9.30am Friday morning as this is the only time she can fit one in when others wouldn’t complain. However… who wants to see the new blockbuster James Bond film that early in the morning with two teenagers?
Not forgetting the recent Fast and Furious 7, there were no showings. I have only just bought the DVD which I have waited ages for, and all my friends have seen it, so if you can imagine – I feel very left out and isolated when they are all talking about it. One film I noticed had a subtitled showing on the same day at the same time at both Odeon and Vue, how stupid is this- we are only going to go to one or the other, and it was early morning, do you even consider that people are working, or children are at school?
Vue haven’t fared too much better yet as we just can’t even get through to them, there is a 40 minute wait. Neither Odeon or Vue have answered my email, so I am relying on my mum to phone on my behalf.
Cinemas are missing out on a huge target audience. There are over 800,000 deaf or hard of hearing people in the UK and I bet you, not even half of them have the opportunity to go to the cinema because of the lack of subtitles.
Stating the Equality Act 2010, every business/organisation should make reasonable adjustments to enable their services to be accessible for their customers, and this is not reasonable. I feel it is discrimination and I feel very isolated, annoyed and upset at the fact that my family might just go without me. Reasonable should mean more than one subtitled showing a day all around the UK, or even better that we should have the freedom like everyone else to go into the cinema, and just ask for subtitles on arrival?
I have posted something on deaf groups on Facebook and have had quite a few similar opinions. I am considering whether to start a petition or something due to the numerous amount of similar responses I’ve had from other deaf/hard of hearing people. To top it off, I am going to Parliament next week regarding a deaf/hearing loss launch with Action on Hearing Loss, which I am really looking forward to, and I will definitely be mentioning this issue!
Somebody shared Charlie Swinbourne’s article from the Guardian, I think it’s great, how about you?
What are your experiences with the cinemas? Would love to hear them!
Love E x