Choosing accessible movie sessions

Thursday, 17 December 2015 12:24pm

With so many big movies being released for the Christmas season, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and Arthur Christmas, it’s important for people with a hearing or vision impairment to find out the most accessible way to experience them, in a cinema session offering captions or audio description.

People watching a movie in a cinema

Closed captions (CC) and audio description (AD) should be available at all of the major cinemas around the country as well as many of the major independent cinemas. Open captions (OC) are available at some cinemas on an ad hoc basis and are organised through local Deaf cinema clubs.

To ensure that you have access to the right technology you need to enjoy a film, it’s worthwhile doing your homework before you go to the cinema. When searching for accessible movie sessions online, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Cinema websites are updated very regularly with session information.
  • Screen readers can’t navigate the content on most cinema chain websites.
  • You’ll need to borrow a closed caption unit or audio description unit at the ticket counter.

You can check out new release movies with closed captions in your state at Hoyts, search accessible movies at Event Cinemas, or browse Village Cinemas and look for the CC and AD symbols.

However, navigating through cinema chain websites for accessibility options across movie sessions varies considerably between each website. For more information, see the instructions on our Find accessible movie sessions online page. By following these, you can choose the right session with a minimum of fuss and concentrate on what attracted you to the film in the first place… enjoying the experience.

Media Access Australia can be contacted on (02) 9212 6242 and info@mediaaccess.org.au.


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