#AccessDeniedDiaries by River

I love films. I wanted to watch a film with a friend at the Lighthouse Cinema.

I'm mostly non-speaking autistic. I need subtitles for the hearing impaired.

The only films shown in movie houses with any subtitles (at all, hearing impaired or otherwise) are foreign, non-English, non-Te Reo or non-Samoan films. There were no foreign films, although they were advertised.

I couldn't watch a film with a friend ... something so simple.

I experience this ALL THE TIME. I have yet to find a movie house where films are shown with subtitles for the hearing impaired - even though many cinemas advertise their screenings as "hearing accessible".

We ended up leaving the cinema and the cafe (it was too noisy for us). We didn't get to watch a film and didn't even get to catch up over a coffee.

Connection is important for someone like me who struggles to socialise. It is essential for wellbeing.

Given that all the films being shown will have subtitles available, I think we need compulsory subtitles for the hearing impaired - as an accessibility issue - to make screenings truly "hearing accessible". Even if it is only for one day a week.




This is a story about the barriers many face. We're sharing it because we want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.

What's your story?

Share Your Story #MyAccessStory

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