Visible Cinema at Glasgow Film Theatre

Deaf Awareness Training

How do we ensure that cinema is accessible to people who are d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

Following our work on the hugely successful Power in our Hands project, we felt more work was needed to make cinemas more welcoming for the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

We recently conducted a national survey to discover what d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences felt about their local cinemas:

  •  91% of respondents found the number of screenings accessible to them in their region was inadequate
  • Over 97% of our respondents said that with better provisions they would visit the cinema more frequently

To begin to combat this lack of provision we're offering a free one day Deaf awareness training course.


HOME, Manchester; Broadway, Nottingham; Stratford East Picturehouse, London; Tyneside, Newcastle; Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth; QFT, Belfast
Throughout February and March

This training course will help you to understand the needs of these audiences and help you think about how your venue can better serve this large section of our population, from access concerns to what to consider when it comes to programming and marketing.

This training is geared towards staff from independent cinemas who wish to build and improve provisions for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences, from senior programmers and marketing managers to duty managers and front of house staff.

The course covers:

  • What makes a cinema d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing-friendly

  • How to programme for and market to d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences

  • Basic British Sign Language signs to help you welcome Deaf patrons

  • Understanding different needs of those who experience hearing loss

  • How to approach the technical aspects of cinema screenings for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing people

  • Connections you can make with the d/Deaf community to develop this audience

The training will take place in the following venues:

Wednesday 8 February at HOME, Manchester (Film Hub North West Central), (Last few spaces remaining)

Thursday 16 February at Broadway, Nottingham (Film Hub Central East),

Tuesday 21 February at Stratford East Picturehouse, London (Film Hub London),

Friday 24 February at Tyneside, Newcastle (Film Hub North),

Monday 27 February at Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth (Film Hub South West West Midlands),

Thursday 9 March at Queens Film Theatre, Belfast (Film Hub Northern Ireland),

Training will run from 10am – 5pm. Refreshments will be served.

There are 16 places available for Film Hub members. There is no charge but you must sign up in advance by emailing the relevant Film Hub and expressing interest.

As part of this project, ICO will be carrying out further research with the Deaf community and creating online resources and tutorials for cinemas in how to make venues more accessible. Please see our website over the coming weeks for details.

Supported by

BFI Film Audience Network logo

"Fantastic course - I have learnt so much and been inspired."

Training participant

Independent Cinema Office

3rd Floor, Kenilworth House, 79-80 Margaret Street, London W1W 8TA
T: 020 7636 7120 F: 020 7636 7121 E:

Registered in England and Wales. Company 5369193.
ICO is a registered charity No. 1109053