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Barbican Cinemas 2 & 3 and Cafe awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award

The Barbican is delighted to announce it has been awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award, which was presented to Gali Gold, Head of Cinema, Barbican, by Daniel Cadey, Autism Friendly Development Manager at the National Autistic Society, at a special presentation in Cinema 3, Beech Street ahead of a Relaxed Screening of Parasite on Friday 14 February.

Daniel Cadey said: 'The National Autistic Society is delighted to award our Autism Friendly Award to Barbican Cinemas 2 & 3 and Cafe in recognition of the venue’s adjustments to the overall experience, including lower lighting in the box office area, visual guides on the website, and training for cinema staff.'

Gali Gold said: 'We are thrilled to receive this Autism Friendly Award from the National Autistic Society. The Barbican is committed to providing the best service and experience for people with access requirements and we are particularly proud of our regular Relaxed Screenings programme. I am sure this award will further enhance our audience engagement and reach and we look forward to continuing to welcome neurodiverse audiences to a wealth of cinema here at the Barbican.'

The Barbican cinema presents regular Relaxed Screenings including two regular new release screenings every month, as well as a monthly event cinema Relaxed Screening.

In April the season Autism and Cinema, An Exploration of Neurodiversity will present a selection of five screenings and discussions, and will ask how the language of cinema can be challenged and changed by the perspectives of autistic people. Autism and Cinema is presented in collaboration with the Centre for Film and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London as part of a research project supported by Wellcome. All the screenings in this programme will be Relaxed. Autism and Cinema, An Exploration of Neurodiversity will tour to select cinemas nationwide, supported by Wellcome.

The Barbican Cinema also works with external festival partners to present Relaxed Screenings. In March, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival will present Relaxed Screenings of two festival titles.

Daniel Cadey, continues: 'There are around 700,000 autistic children and adults in the UK. They and their families want to go to the cinema like everyone else. But many autistic people can find unfamiliar and noisy public places distressing and disorientating.

'We are delighted that Barbican Cinemas 2 & 3 and Cafe have put so much effort into improving this situation, and has achieved our prestigious Autism Friendly Award. We’re impressed by the care they take to incorporate the feedback of autistic people and their families, to help improve the experience they offer to them and other customers with hidden disabilities.

We hope that many more cinemas and arts venues will follow Barbican Cinema 2 & 3’s inspiring example, so we can move closer to creating a society that works for autistic people'

Other access facilities and events offered by Barbican Cinemas 2 & 3 and Cafe include: wheelchair accommodation in each screen; captioned screenings and British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted Introductions and ScreenTalks, audio description where provided; heightened sound for guests who are hard of hearing; an Induction Loop for those with hearing aids with the T-setting, both within the cinema and at the ticket desk; and Changing Places facilities for the exclusive use of severely disabled people who need personal assistance, including a height adjustable bench, tracking system, a centrally placed toilet, a height adjustable basin and a shower.

Relaxed, BSL, captioned and audio described events also take place across other Barbican art forms including theatre and dance, visual arts and music. All Barbican venues, restaurants and bars are wheelchair accessible. Full information about facilities and programme here: