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August 2, 2004

Charity Welcomes Subtitled Blockbusters

From: The Scotsman, UK - Aug 2, 2004

By John Ives, Community Newswire

A leading charity for deaf people today welcomed the news that more than 100 cinemas across the country now offer subtitled screenings of the latest movies.

RNID, which represents nine million people who are deaf and hard of hearing in the UK, is one of the organisations behind a website letting people know where the 113 subtitled screens are located.

It described the rise in screens offering subtitling as a "revolution" for millions of would-be cinemagoers put off because they cannot hear what's happening.

RNID has been campaigning for better cinema facilities for deaf and hard of hearing people for five years, and won a breakthrough earlier this year when the UK Film Council, backed by the Arts Council of England, awarded grants to install digital subtitling equipment in 78 cinemas.

Before that, just 22 cinemas out of almost 700 in the UK had adequate subtitling equipment, with some of the other cinemas using prints with burnt-on subtitles when available.

According to RNID research, some five million people use subtitles regularly to enjoy television, many of whom are expected to benefit from the increase in cinema subtitling.

The boost comes as cinemas look to improve access for deaf and hard of hearing people to comply with the forthcoming Disability Discrimination Act, which aims to give disabled people equal and enforceable rights and access to goods, facilities and services.

RNID chief executive Dr John Low said: "Deaf and hard of hearing people have been excluded from the enjoyment of mainstream cinema since the end of silent movies in the 1920's.

"With the final part of the Disability Discrimination Act coming into full force in October 2004, equal access is a crucial issue for all cinema operators."

For listings information on where subtitled and audio-described screenings are available, visit the RNID-backed website

For more information about RNID, visit or contact the RNID Information Line on freephone 0808 808 0123 or textphone 0808 808 9000.