Friday, 13 March 2015

Accessibility To Public Services

I was just having a moment of thinking and this wonderful thought popping into my head.
Wouldn't it be lovely if society was inclusive? 
Sadly, this will never be the case as not all people in society are willing to be inclusive (my opinion) and lack of awareness in general.
I am very passionate about raising awareness because I want to educate society of the effects of hearing loss. I want them to realise how this negatively impacts on someone like myself if society was not inclusive or supportive and welcoming to their services etc.

One thing that has played on my mind lately is the accessibility to cinema services (subtitled). I have visited my local cinema in town and I asked the nice lady at the desk whether the cinema had viewings for subtitled films.
They didn't.
This was after I approached my local Cineworld about subtitled films and was let down by them. It is such a shame because I absolutely love going to the Cinema and watching all the new releases, such as 'Fifty Shades of Grey 'or 'Run All Night' which are new films that I wanted to see. I was told by Cineworld to check back on the website on Thursday as they told me that they may add some subtitle screenings. It is now Friday and I checked back once again and to my horror, only TWO films were subtitled! (I ticked 'Subtitled' in the screening type list on the right hand side).

I don't usually complain about these sort of things and I would usually wait until the DVD releases. But since I have grown up and am aware of the work of Action On Hearing Loss and their campaigns and constant educating, it has made me aware of my rights.
I shouldn't have to 'wait until the DVD releases'. I don't know much about the law and my rights, but one thing I am aware of is that public services need to make 'reasonable adjustments' for people like myself with a disability, otherwise it is classed as discrimination.

I am not saying that the cinema is 'discriminating', (although they are tilting in that direction)  I just think they need a kick up the bum! They know what they need to do, I just feel that they cannot be bothered sometimes. This reflects on most organisations, they know what they need to do to make services inclusive, I just feel sometimes they just 'cannot be bothered' because it means 'extra work load' etc. I have come across this MANY times in my life, high school, University etc.

I intend to fight for my rights, even if that annoys people, it is part of raising awareness. Not everyone is going to be happy about my constant reminding and educating. I feel that I am missing out on a lot and rather than most people expecting me to sit down and be quiet and just 'accept it'.
No, I will NOT do that. I have just as much of a right as everyone else to live my life to the fullest and I damn well will! I have just as much of a right to access services such as cinemas like any other Tom, Dick and Harry in this world.

Public services/organisations  need to make that effort to go the extra mile to be considered 'Inclusive'. Just because you have added in a few ramps here and there, does not mean you are Inclusive. I approached a member of staff last year in my local Cineworld and asked her whether she could tell me any information about accessibility for the hearing impaired. She did not have a clue at all, she said something about providing me with headphones and I must say, this really did humour me! I went into the cinema screening room and thought to myself "Oh well! I will just have to make use of the loop system"... Can you imagine what happened next?
Yep. There was no loop system. I don't know if they were just simply not switched on, or if there was a loop system at all?

I have stopped going to the cinema now, after 5 or 6 visits and no loop system, I decided that I would not bother. That might be one less problem for Cineworld and all the other cinema's in my area. But I feel that I needed to write about this and make people aware. It is part of my 'Goldy Deaf Awareness' campaign to raise awareness. I promised from the beginning that I would speak in complete honesty.

So, back to my original thought, wouldn't it be lovely if society was Inclusive!

1 comment:

  1. Goldy, have a look at Pardon? I am deaf. When will you listen? We need access for all. on FB. It is a friendly helpful group. It is a closed one so you have to ask to join but I shouldn't imagine that would be a problem. There is also a Hard of Hearing UK group, too. Keep fighting.