How we developed the cinemas’ training

We used in-house autism experts, autism consultants and industry partners to develop the written training and a supporting training video for autism friendly cinema screenings.

“Trips to the cinema [with an autistic child] were unthinkable until the autism friendly viewings” – Dimensions survey 2018
The written training provides all the information cinemas need to know when planning, scheduling, hosting and promoting autism friendly screenings.

The training video has real life stories from people with autism and guidance on how to host autism friendly screenings from ODEON’s Calum Corser, who pioneered the first screenings in 2011 and has been a driving force behind them ever since.

Filming the training video

It was crucial that our training video was true to autism friendly screenings and provided genuine stories with tips and guidance to motivate cinema staff in their journey.

There was only one way to make this possible – people! Guests at our autism friendly cinema screenings have made them a success so it was a natural decision to invite some as willing stars.

guests at the filmed screening for our training video

After a detailed selection process, we chose a producer with experience in the autism sector and we joined 50 guests at Showcase Southampton to record an autism friendly screening.

Our stars enjoyed a free screening of Minions 3 and a LEGO afterparty, which was a huge success.

The footage from that night has been edited together with the stories from Jake (and his mum Stacey) and Lauren who kindly shared their time and experiences with us.

Working with experts

Dimensions has worked with the UK Cinema Association since autism friendly screenings began. They link us to cinemas all over the country and their dedication to accessible cinema has helped drive autism friendly screenings into a national initiative.

Together, we identified a need for industry standard training and they kindly agreed to fund the project.

Working with them and the British Film Institute’s Film Audience Network we’ve been able to represent the best interests of national cinema chains and independent cinemas too.

With our own autism experts, and an autism ambassador and consultant, we’ve developed a training package that has people with autism at its heart.

<< Back to free autism friendly training for cinemas.

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