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July 21, 2006

UK: Subtitled cinema - award!- Your VOTE is needed!

From: Subtitles @ your local cinema - Jul 21, 2006

Your VOTE is needed!

Subtitles @ your local cinema .com
- the cinema information service for people
with a visual or hearing impairment -
has been short-listed for a National Lottery Award!

Your VOTE is needed
to make it through to the national finals!


Why bother to vote?

There¹s no prize money, and it¹s no big deal really,
but voting could help us to secure further funding,
which will help to keep us going.
(Our funding runs out at Christmas ­ gulp!).

Voting tells the Lottery board, and the UK film industry,
that the work we do matters, and should be continued.

Many votes will show that our service makes a real difference,
and enables people with a visual or hearing problem
to enjoy the popular social activity of cinema going.

Also, if we do well in the awards, it¹s a great opportunity
to use the exposure to remind the film industry that
the Œaccess¹ issue needs to be kept high on the agenda.

A lot of people WANT to enjoy films at cinemas but CAN¹T,
as many cinemas and films are still not accessible.

So, we need your help.



It¹s simple:


Email votes are free!
But no more than 20 votes allowed
per office/school/home etc. internet connection.

Or you can call 0845 434 9073.
No need to speak! It¹s automated.
Just hang up after a few seconds.

Phone votes cost 2p (two pence) from a landline
But no more than 20 votes allowed
per office/school/home etc. phone line.

It¹s as easy as that!

Votes must be in by 11th August so please VOTE NOW!
and please ask others to vote too - forward this email.

The overall winners will be announced during a special
BBC National Lottery television show in the autumn.


The National Lottery Awards are about celebrating the difference
Lottery funding has made. They¹re the annual celebration of the
nation¹s favourite lottery-funded projects, as voted for by the public.


Accessible cinema - some quotes:

"Have you ever tried to lip read Darth Vader? or Spiderman?
Without subtitles, people like me
just can't enjoy the cinema"

(Dean, deaf)


"I have lost my sight and am now losing my hearing.
You think I couldn't enjoy the cinema?
Imagine Dawn of the Dead, only SCARIER!"

(Fiona, blind, and partially deaf)


"Without subtitles we just watch the pictures,
and have to guess the story"

(James, deaf)


"Not a big enough audience?
Cinema access equipment should be treat like disabled ramps,
or wheelchair spaces, or hearing loops
It's about access and equal rights, not profit"

(Dave, deaf & wheelchair user)


"I thought we had moved on from silent films.
Over a million people in Britain
use TV subtitles every day,
they want to go to the cinema often too"

(Derek, father of Dean, deaf)


"Think what it must be like,
to have to watch every movie in a foreign language,
with no subtitles.
That's what it was like for deaf people,
before subtitles came along"

(Simon, deaf, husband of Sam, deaf)


"It was like I was really there!"

(Laura, blind, audio described 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory')


"When we went to the cinema,
the sound was so muffled and distorted, we had to leave.
Hearing people get a refund for service like that!"

(Debbie, deaf, and Gary, deaf)


"Most new movies get over 20 showings a week in a cinema
Hearing impaired people are only asking for a handful a month!"

(Nathan, hearing)


"Full deaf and blind access costs less than £10,000 a screen.
That's about a thousand tickets & buckets of popcorn.
Many cinemas, showing one major film,
can sell that many tickets in a night!"

(David, hearing)


If I thought I could improve the lives of many disabled people
by giving up a few days wages, I would.
It's the same as a cinema investing a weekends takings
to improve the lives of hundreds in their community?

(Claire, hearing)



The last few years have seen a revolution in the world of cinema, for those
with a visual or hearing impairment.

Subtitled and audio described (narrated) versions of almost all popular
films are available in over 180 cinemas across the UK. Hearing or visually
impaired people and their families can now enjoy hundreds of 'accessible'
shows every month.

But until recently these screenings were not widely publicised, and the
UK¹s five million people who have some form of hearing or visual impairment
had little or no idea about how to access these services.

With the help of Lottery funding from the UK Film Council, voluntary group
ŒYour Local Cinema .com¹ set up a service via internet, email, talking
website, web-over-phone service, and manned call centre, to campaign for a
better service for disabled people, and to enable people to find out when
and where subtitled and audio described films were playing.

Your Local Cinema .com helps visually or hearing impaired people to enjoy
cinema. The service benefits thousands of people each week and has created
a permanent resource for visually or hearing impaired people across the UK.

"Going to the cinema is an entertaining social occasion that most people
take for granted, but that many people with a visual or hearing impairment
struggle to enjoy. A profoundly deaf boy set this project up whilst still
at school, and its great that so many cinemas have got involved to make
cinema going more accessible to so many people"