< Back to News

Access Forum: Launch Event

24 April saw the inaugural Access Forum take place at Media Education Edinburgh, with over 19 attendees from organisations including full-time cinemas, film festivals and independent exhibitors.

We heard from Alison Smith (Pesky People and Collective Text) who held a session on widening access for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences.

Alison had lots of practical tips and ideas and highlighted the importance of being an advocate and considering D/deaf access from the beginning of projects and plans. Key takeaways included:

  • Using relevant and useful hashtags:  #deaf, #BSL, #captions, #subtitles, #a11y, #AD, #audiodescribed to join the conversation online.
  • There are significant groups on Facebook such as ‘Pardon? I’m deaf. When will you listen? We need access for All!’ and ‘Spit the dummy and campaign for BSL ACT!’ They are closed groups but consider reaching out if you have specific events you’d like to promote.
  • When you book a film, ask if it comes with captions. New titles from larger distributers should come with them and if the film doesn’t, it highlights the need and demand. 
  • If you have equipment in your organisations, consider asking people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing to test it regularly to make sure it’s up to scratch.  
  • Consider bullet points, listing information and larger font on marketing materials to provide easy access for people.

Helen Wright (SQIFF) facilitated a workshop on how to develop ideas to widen access and increase inclusion and diversity into actual project plans. There was no shortage of ideas or conversation and we discussed ideas like a festival that has all films captioned with BSL interpreters, having two captioned screenings per week at a full-time venue (and not at awkward times that don’t suit people) or that it is easier to create captions from existing subtitles so foreign language film festivals could become very accessible to D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences.

If you’re interested in becoming involved in the Access Forum or want to chat through ideas you have to widen access in your organisation then please get in touch with georgia@filmhubscotland.com.  

To download the PowerPoint presentations from the day, click here.

Join our mailing list Join our mailing list