We have collated some guides to help you to increase and improve access for disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent people in your organisations, whether that be for audiences at the cinema or for employees.

Cinemas across the country currently offer specific accessible screenings, such as subtitled, audio described, BSL interpreted, relaxed environment, autism-friendly, and/or dementia-friendly screenings.

UK events

Your Local Cinema lists many subtitled and audio-described screenings

Accessible Screenings UK also list autism-friendly, subtitled and audio-described screenings


The BFI FAN: Access Directory
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BFI FAN: EDI in Focus - Advocacy Skills for Accessible Screenings
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Oska Bright: Welcoming Learning Disabled Audiences Back
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And What Next? Demanding Change | THE CINEMA OF IDEAS
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Using Film to Tell Disabled Stories | THE CINEMA OF IDEAS
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Unlimited: Accessible Recruitment and Employment
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Crip Club
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Crip Cinema Archive
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The Space: Digital Accessibility: Best Practice
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Unlimited: Accessible Marketing Guide
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Unlimited: Cards for Inclusion
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The Bigger Picture Case Study: Universal Accessibility for Schools Screenings
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ICO: Where to Begin with Relaxed Screenings
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The Hollywood Reporter: A Recent History of the Academy’s Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Efforts
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What might a more inclusive film programming world look like?
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Caption This: the subtitling champions working to make festivals, screenings and global cinema more accessible
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Being Disabled In Britain - A Journey Less Equal
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Centering Disabled Arts and Audiences
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Planning and Access for Disabled people: A Good Practice Guide
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The Fringe Guide to Adapting Events for Deaf and Disabled Audiences
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Using A Range Of Communication Channels To Reach Disabled People
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Accessibility in cinemas: Are cinemas playing fair?
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Access Guide - Ensuring your venues and events are open to all
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10 great lesbian films

It’s tricky to pinpoint the moment when the movie world could proclaim the first openly lesbian film. Identifying early cinematic representations of lesbianism was like collecting crumbs off the top table. Sapphic sisters were used to watching whole films just to see a character (usually portrayed as victim, killer, neurotic or prostitute) shoot a covert … More

Lesbian Visibility Week is about solidarity with all LGBTQI+ woman and non binary people in the community, as well as celebrating lesbians. It is essential that Lesbian Visibility Week is a voice for unity and lifts up ALL women, especially those who come from marginalised communities. Recent research (Pride Matters survey, conducted by Pride In London 2018) has shown that gay women are almost twice as unlikely to be out in the workplace as gay male colleagues.

There has been a Lesbian Visibility Day since 2008.

Building on this, DIVA want to create a week that recognises, celebrates and importantly supports lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women across the UK and beyond to be their true selves at work, at home and socially.

​#LesbianVisibilityWeek  |  #LVW  |  #LWithTheT

Lesbianism and Cinema

Now is as important as ever to support the work of LGBTQ+ filmmakers and stories. We have some lists of films here which focus on lesbian stories or characters, however lesbianism can often be misrepresented and/or underrepresented in film. We hope increasing awareness and visibility will springboard more authentic representation in film, both onscreen and behind the camera.

If you are interested in running a film inspired event, we have provided some links below for further information to help inspire programming in your venue, or for running events or activity online.

How to Become as Straight as a Rainbow | Anna Rosenwasser | TEDxHochschuleLuzern

International Day of People with Disabilities is the annual celebration of people with disabilities. In 2021 the theme was “Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era.”

Since March 2020, every person has been impacted by drastic political, social and economic change as a result of domestic and international responses to COVID-19.

It was intended that International Day of People with Disabilities should be used to recognise that people who live with disabilities are among the most affected populations amid the COVID pandemic. Where marginalisation, discrimination, vulnerability and exploitation are every day factors for many people, the increased risk of poor outcomes were magnified with the reduced access to routine health care and rehabilitation services, more pronounced social isolation, poorly tailored public health messaging, inadequately constructed mental health services, and a lack of emergency preparedness for people with access needs.

We call on domestic and international public health officials, political representatives, advocates, supporters, and every citizen in every community, to learn from the experiences of people living with disabilities during the pandemic, and push for more meaningful investments into the socioeconomic building blocks which will reduce the barriers faced by people with disabilities in every community.

Disabled representation in cinema continues to be a struggle, as we see very few authentic depictions that don’t play to the hero or tragedy tropes so often associated with disability on screen. Our ask of the film sector is to see more varied characters and stories about disability, to hire more disabled talent into production, distribution and exhibition roles in film, and to support any workers with access needs with compassion and care, so they can progress and have jobs for life in the industry.

As regards exhibition, at Inclusive Cinema, we seek to see as many subtitled, audio-described and relaxed screenings made available across the UK for those with access requirements as there are for those without access requirements.

Useful sources for accessible screenings

Your Local Cinema lists many subtitled and audio-described screenings

Accessible Screenings UK also list autism-friendly, dementia-friendly, subtitled and audio-described screenings

“South Asian Heritage Month runs from 18th July to 17th August every year. It seeks to raise the profile of British South Asian heritage and history in the UK through education, arts, culture and commemoration, with the goal of helping people to better understand the diversity of present-day Britain and improve social cohesion across the country. It had its inaugural year in 2020.  The Month is a grassroots movement that has been driven by the lived experiences of the founders and others in being British South Asian.

South Asian Heritage Month is about reclaiming the history and identity of British South Asians. People need to be able to tell their own stories, and this is an opportunity to show what it means to be South Asian in the 21st century, as well as look to the past to see how Britain became the diverse country it is today. “

More information about the month, its founders and activities can be found here. 

Read below for ideas on screenings and films.

South Asian Heritage Month LGBTQIA Special

Rianne Pictures – Women X

Inclusive Cinema spoke to Rianne Pictures founder Caris Rianne and team member  Sophie Duncan on their approach to implementing the toolkit Dismantling Structural Inequality in Your Cinema by Sadia Hameed. How did you hear about the toolkit? Caris: We came across it, I think it was around January time, and it was on my to … More

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.

Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, being universally present across racial, gender or socioeconomic lines in approximately 1 in 800 live births, although there is considerable variation worldwide. Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues.

Learning Disability and Film

Learning disabled people are chronically underrepresented in the film industry. This is a time to reflect on supporting learning disabled representation in the film industry as well as consider access to cinema for neurodivergent audiences.

Released on World Down Syndrome Day 2021, Amber and Me is a documentary about friendship. Amber has Down’s syndrome and is about to start school together with her twin sister, Olivia. Although at first her experience is positive, she soon starts to struggle and asks to stay at home. Olivia is keen to keep her twin sister in the same class and so begins the struggle of keeping the girls together at school. The film follows the challenges for both girls through 4 years of school and charts the changes in their relationship, uniquely from their own perspectives.

In 2019, FAN New Releases supported Signature’s title The Peanut Butter Falcon, a modern Mark Twain-esque adventure starring Shia LaBeouf (American Honey, Fury) as a small-time outlaw turned unlikely coach who joins forces with Zack Gottsagen‘s Zak, a young man with Down Syndrome on the run from a nursing home with the dream of becoming a professional wrestler. 

You can now rent The Peanut Butter Falcon on BFI Player. (CC available)

My Feral Heart is a drama in which Luke (Steven Brandon), a young man with Down’s syndrome who prizes his independence, is forced into a care home after the death of his mother. There he rails against the restrictions imposed on him, but his frustrations are allayed by his budding friendships with his care-worker Eve (Shana Swash) and a mysterious feral girl (Pixie Le Knot).

BFI Player subscribers can watch the film My Feral Heart on BFI Player, or it can be purchased on DVD or through streaming services. (CC & AD available)

Oska Bright, based in Brighton is the worlds biggest learning disability film festival. Find out more about their amazing work here.

Learning disability and Cinema

During the pandemic learning disabled and neurodiversity focused organisations kept in touch by running online activities with their members. If you are interested in running online activity you may find some helpful resources below.

If you’re interested in running a relaxed screening to help bring in Learning Disabled audiences to your cinema, find out more in our quick tips for running relaxed screenings. You may also find some transferable advice in our autism-friendly screenings guide, though bear in mind much of this advice is specific to people living with autism, not necessarily those who are Learning Disabled. Ideally, consult with Learning Disabled groups in your area for advice and expertise.