Training Courses

Challenging Barriers and Championing Access for Disabled Cinema Audiences

21/09/2021 - 21/09/2021

10am - 4pm

As disabled* audience members will be among those facing much more difficult and complex barriers in returning to the cinema over the coming months, the current moment presents a valuable and vital opportunity for Film Hub members to ask deeper questions about our commitment to increasing and prioritising access for disabled people visiting our venues.

The four sessions at the event that aim to confront these challenges include “Vulnerable” Audiences: Lockdown, Language and Labelling with Michèle Taylor (Ramps on the Moon); Independent Cinema and the Learning Disabled Community with Lizzie Banks (Oska Bright Film Festival); Deaf Conversations about Cinema with David Ellington (VS1 Productions); and a Fundraising Workshop with Ellen McGuinness (Fundraising Consultant). See further details of each session here.

This online event will encourage members to go beyond compliance, centring the social model of disability to ensure decisions across organisations are taken considerately and inclusively, resulting in real change for venues and audiences throughout our region.

In addition to the live online event on 21 September, attendees will also receive access to three recorded case studies which can be viewed at your own pace and in your own time.

*The term “disabled” in the context of this event and supporting materials covers people who self-define as D/deaf, as neurodivergent, as disabled or as learning disabled.

You can register for the event here. Registering gives you access to both the live event and the recorded case studies. Once registered you will receive instructions on how to access the event online via Zoom.

Venue Consultancies

Following this event, attendees will be able to apply for a FREE bespoke consultancy with one of the speakers from the day. The consultant will work closely with your venue to identify areas of strength and areas of weakness, expand your skills and knowledge to reach a clear set of aims and objectives. These consultancies can take a range of different forms and be adapted to suit your key needs, ranging from venue audits and written reports to training for front of house staff.

Full details will be announced at the event. Applications will open on 22 September.

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Dates

21/09/2021 - 21/09/2021
10am - 4pm

Fees

Free

Sessions

“Vulnerable” Audiences: Lockdown, Language and Labelling

Michèle Taylor, Director for Change, Ramps on the Moon

‘We are not vulnerable people. We are people in vulnerable situations.’
– Baroness Jane Campbell, May 2021.

This opening session will present a framework for the day’s conversations and thinking by prioritising a robust understanding of the social model for disability. Startling recent statistics from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have again demonstrated the vast levels of inequality and discrimination faced by disabled people in the UK and reinforces why the model must be central to developing your approach and actions to support disabled people’s access to, and participation in, your work. Through this lens we are more able to recognise the stories we are telling and who gets to tell them, and where we can go beyond compliance to ensure decisions are taken inclusively and ableism is eliminated from our organisational cultures.

Independent Cinemas and the Learning Disabled Community

Lizzie Banks, Producer, Oska Bright Film Festival

Independent cinemas have the potential to play a key role in creating safe, welcoming spaces for learning disabled audiences, but these audiences will be among those facing much greater challenges and barriers returning to cinemas in the coming months. In this session, representatives from Oska Bright Film Festival, the world’s leading festival for films made by or featuring people with learning disabilities or autism, will provide practical advice on simple adaptations and customer service tips which will help learning disabled audience members feel at ease and supported in your venue. The session will include the opportunity to share experiences and collaboratively devise next steps to research, reach and retain a local learning disabled audience.

Deaf Conversations about Cinema

David Ellington, Director, VS1 Productions

In 2015, Watershed in Bristol participated in the Arts Council England Agent for Change programme. They were matched with Deaf artist, actor, presenter and director David Ellington. The objectives of this partnership were to improve access by engaging, inviting, welcoming and making Watershed comfortable for the Deaf community, and to identify the barriers to attendance and address these. In this session David will provide an overview of this work, in what way this has developed over the past six years – from specific initiatives through to building accessibility into all ongoing cultural programmes – and how you can implement elements of this work in your own venues.

Fundraising Workshop

Ellen McGuinness, Fundraising Consultant

Following the day’s sessions, we are delighted to be joined by Ellen McGuinness – an experienced grant funding specialist and consultant, who has worked extensively in the film exhibition sector – to help you find the support to put your ideas into action. In this workshop Ellen will cover how to research funders; telling your story and proposal writing; budgets; finding contextual information to strengthen your proposal and applying to funders with a broad remit outside of film.

Case studies

In addition to the live sessions on 21 September, attendees will receive access to three recorded case studies with:

  • Elizabeth Costello, Development Director, Leigh Film Society
  • Helen Wright, Co-producer, Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF)
  • Jodie Wilkinson, Public Engagement Co-ordinator, Glasgow Film Theatre

Through these case studies attendees will learn about the initiatives these organisations have brought about to make their venues as welcoming as possible, especially for D/deaf, neurodivergent, disabled or learning disabled audiences members. These resources will be accessible through the ICO’s Online Learning Platform, where they can viewed at your own pace and in your own time.

Consultancies

Following this event, attendees will be able to apply for a free bespoke consultancy with one of the speakers from the day. The consultant will work closely with your venue to identify areas of strength and areas of weakness, expand your skills and knowledge to reach a clear set of aims and objectives. These consultancies can take a range of different forms and be adapted to suit your key needs, ranging from venue audits and written reports to training for front of house staff.

Full details will be announced at the event. Applications will open on 22 September.

Speakers

Becky Bruzas

Oska Bright Film Festival

Becky Bruzas is a member of the Oska Bright Film Festival team. They have been working on the festival for nearly ten years and in that time have delivered screenings, events, workshops, and panels across the UK and the world. Passionate about film exhibition, Becky is committed to sharing their experience as a learning disabled film enthusiast.

David Ellington

Director, VS1 Productions

David is the award-winning director of VS1 Productions. Since 1997, his roles have been diverse as a freelance artist, including film, theatre and television drama and presenting. His TV directing debut, Life Out There, commissioned by the British Sign Language Broadcast Trust (BSLBT), won the RTS Bristol Community Media Award. David has always enjoyed creative work including filmmaking and theatre workshop projects (Diverse, Graeae and DRoots) for deaf and disabled participants and also supported ALRA (Academy of Live & Record Arts) in running theatre courses for Deaf students. He has attended many deaf and mainstream events such as film festivals and art exhibitions and loves the linguistic exploration of different sign languages.

Elizabeth Costello BEM

Co-founder and Development Director, Leigh Film Society

Elizabeth Costello is co-founder and development director for Leigh Film Society C.I.O. Elizabeth’s passion for film started at a very early age, growing up with five siblings and spending evenings as a family watching films together, and that shared cinematic experience has always stayed with her. After working as an usher in the local multiplex while at college, Elizabeth then spent 25 years working in NHS Financial Management – but her love of film never went away. In 2013 Elizabeth started the Tyldesley Film Club in a local café based on the same premise as a book club – watching a film together and then having a discussion afterwards. This soon became very popular and the Club decided to move to bigger premises, take on a wider programme of film delivery and officially relaunch as Leigh Film Society. Leigh Film Society maintains the ethos of using film to fight against social isolation, creating opportunities for young people and supporting community cohesion. Elizabeth strongly believes that film screenings can be used for many positive outcomes within a community, prioritising film programmes and projects that promote inclusivity and broaden access to culture. Leigh Film have gone from strength to strength winning national awards, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the Edge Hill Universities ‘Employer of the Year’ (2020) for supporting students with work placements, and Elizabeth herself is now a Trustee for Cinema for All. Elizabeth is incredibly proud of everything Leigh Film Society has achieved, and still describes the group as “only getting started”.

Ellen McGuinness

Fundraising Consultant

Ellen is an experienced and successful fundraiser, with eleven years' experience working in the film world. This includes working in the BFI Development Team for seven years. Current clients include Into Film, Birds Eye View, Film London, BFI and Renaissance Studios. Ellen's experience includes strategy and planning work, as well as raising grants for projects such as film restoration and preservation, exhibition, and festivals, including the London Film Festival, skills, training, and education projects, as well as community and environmental sustainability activity. Ellen has been successful in raising grants from funders such as Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Wellcome Trust and The Film Foundation. She also recently supported several organisation's successful applications to the Cultural Recovery Fund.

Helen Wright

Co-producer, Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF)

Helen Wright is a co-founder and currently Co-producer of Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF). She works as a freelancer and educator in film exhibition and occasionally other areas of the arts with a focus on tackling exclusions and increasing accessibility to events and opportunities for marginalised communities.

Jodie Wilkinson

Public Engagement Co-ordinator, Glasgow Film Theatre

An experienced and skilled professional with an artistic portfolio spanning 20 years, Jodie has a breadth of experience working across the live performance and film sectors. At present, Jodie is Public Engagement Co-ordinator for Glasgow Film Theatre focussing on audience development and cultivating accessible programme strands within Equality and Inclusion frameworks. A key focus of her work is to produce sustainable inclusive strategies and deliver programmes focussing on D/deaf and Hard of Hearing, autistic and learning-disabled, and dementia-friendly collaboration and engagement. Jodie is responsible for developing these programmes in collaboration with people of lived experience, local communities and relevant support organisations resulting in; inclusive, relevant and varied programmes containing film screenings, social and learning opportunities and advocacy support. To date, Jodie has implemented, managed and monitored three innovative and effective engagement programmes at Glasgow Film inclusive of audiences, staff, volunteers and key stakeholders. Jodie considers a holistic and collaborative approach to inclusive practice. She champions the social model of disability and believes in building diverse best practice models of engagement for audience development and speaks both nationally and internationally on this subject. Jodie is also Chairperson for Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre and a student trainee CBT counsellor.

Lizzie Banks

Producer, Oska Bright Film Festival

Lizzie Banks is the Producer of Oska Bright Film Festival. The festival is the biggest film festival in the world showcasing films made by, or featuring people with a learning disability, autism or Aspergers. The festival is supported by the BFI, Arts Council England and Adult Swim and is also now BAFTA accredited. Oska Bright Film Festival tours the UK and abroad in non-festival years sharing award-winning shorts and features, running workshops and hosting seminars.

Michèle Taylor

Director for Change, Ramps on the Moon

Michèle Taylor works as Director for Change for Ramps On The Moon, the Arts Council Funded consortium aiming to change the theatre sector by normalising and elevating Deaf and disabled people working in the sector. Michèle has more than 25 years experience working in arts and heritage, focusing particularly on disability issues, and a background in professional theatre having performed in, written and directed shows for all ages (credits include work with Graeae and Roundabout Theatre Companies). Michèle set up her own business in 1992 to work at that edge where disability and ‘the mainstream’ meet, training and advising organisations on making their practices, policies and premises inclusive of disabled people. Since then, her practice has broadened out to take good account of changes in the legislative approach and in recognition of equality and diversity principles as a whole.

Tina Dickinson

Oska Bright Film Festival

Tina Dickinson is a member of the Oska Bright Film Festival team. They have been working on the festival for nearly ten years and in that time have delivered screenings, events, workshops, and panels across the UK and the world. Passionate about film exhibition, Tina is committed to sharing their experience as a learning disabled film enthusiast.

Schedule

10am – 11am

“Vulnerable” Audiences: Lockdown, Language and Labelling

Michèle Taylor, Ramps on the Moon

BREAK

11:30am – 12:20pm

Independent Cinemas and the Learning Disabled Community

Lizzie Banks, Oska Bright

BREAK

12:40pm – 1:30pm

Deaf Conversations about Cinema

David Ellington, VS1 Productions

LUNCH

2:30pm – 4pm

Fundraising Workshop

Ellen McGuinness

FAQs

Am I eligible for the event?

You must be a member of a Film Hub to attend this event. If you are in the South East and you’re not yet a Film Hub South East member, you can apply here. If you are in a different region you can apply through your regional Film Hub.

How do I take part in the online event?

You must register for this event in advance. Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions of how to access the event via Zoom. To attend online you will need a computer, laptop or mobile device, ideally with a webcam and microphone.

How accessible is the event?

We will be providing live captions for all the sessions in this event. We will provide instructions on how to access the captions at the start of each session.

If you have any further access requirements,  please email us at info@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk and let us know in advance what you require to take part in the training.

Alternatively you can let us know any access requirements when you register for the event via the Zoom form.

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