There’s nothing like finishing a busy week than by speaking at an important conference! On Friday, Matchbox Cineclub invited me to deliver a presentation about my #SubtitledCinema Campaign at the Independent Cinema Office’s Inclusion Screening Day at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham.
I leapt at the opportunity as I felt my campaign was coming to a standstill so it was the perfect time to gain some momentum, and to share my backstory and petition with film exhibitors and representatives from independent cinemas.
The session I was involved in was opened by Megan Mitchell [Producer, Matchbox Cineclub]. It focussed on subtitling and improving deaf audience access, exploring barriers that deaf people face and practical ways they can increase their current subtitle provision.
I presented first, followed by Sean Welsh [Programmer & Subtitler, Matchbox Cineclub] covering the technical side of subtitling and provided options to help cinemas see how they can subtitle more archive and short films. Next, we heard from Toki Allison [BFI FAN Access Officer, Film Hub Wales] who discussed subtitles in cinemas and the inclusion it brings for deaf audiences, finishing with a panel discussion between the four of us.
It was great to see the audience responding to the stats I gave and also from the honest truths I spoke about. I hope it changes their mindset and approach to accessibility for deaf people.
I finished my speech with the video I made featuring the views from influential deaf people about why they want to see an increase in subtitled showings.
Overall, it was a great conference and I am thankful to Matchbox Cineclub for inviting me along. I received fantastic feedback, with some requesting if my campaign and blog was something they could share within their sites which is amazing.
— Independent Cinema Office (@ICOtweets) September 27, 2019
Stark numbers from @deafieblogger at #ScreeningDays outlining the lack of provision for D/deaf cinema audiences. Lots of room for improvement in the commercial and independent sectors in making #SubtitledCinema available. pic.twitter.com/hSmsmliXvP
— Film Hub North (@FilmHubNorth) September 27, 2019
— Film Hub Scotland (@filmhubscotland) September 27, 2019
And the complaining “customer isn’t always right.” Explain the needs of Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences to your customers. Do your audiences understand that without these subtitles, Deaf people can’t attend the cinema? @deafieblogger explains https://t.co/rfsF04Tpiy
— InclusiveCinema (@InclusiveCinema) September 27, 2019
Loving @deafieblogger on the #SubtitledCinema campaign @ICOtweets – asks “why should you have to present a business case for accessibility?” Hearing people have 100% choice, Deaf people don’t. #SupportSubtitledCinema pic.twitter.com/uqjc6LOr5s
— Midnight (@MemphisMidnight) September 27, 2019
Important for everyone in the film industry to continue discussing #SubtitledCinema – D/deaf people should be able to attend the cinema like anyone @deafieblogger well done on such a brilliant and inspiring speech! #ScreeningDays 👍🏻
— Maria (@mezstone1) September 27, 2019
I will continue to fight for the right to go to the cinema like our hearing peers, but I have to decide where to go next…