Accessible Cinema Advisory Group’s latest communique

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:01am

The Accessible Cinema Advisory Group (ACAG) is a body convened by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to oversee and advise on the implementation of captioning and audio description in Australian cinemas. The group has released a fourth report to the public from its meeting held in March.

Communiqué from the Accessible Cinema Advisory Group, March 2012

The Cinema Access Implementation Plan and the role of ACAG

  • The Cinema Access Implementation Plan is an agreement by the four major cinema chains (Hoyts, Village Cinemas, Event Cinemas and Reading Cinemas) to provide.
  • 242 accessible screens in 132 cinema complexes across Australia by the end of 2014.
  • The roll-out of accessible technology, as outlined in the Plan and agreed to by the cinema chains, involves the installation of closed captioning and audio description.
  • ACAG was formed, at the request of cinema chains, to provide advice and assistance in meeting their commitment for the roll-out of closed captioning and audio description.

Progress against the Cinema Access Implementation Plan

Cinemas are making great progress against the original targets in the Plan, having made a commitment to roll-out 145 accessible screens by the end of this year. It is anticipated they will be well above the original target, as they have indicated there will be 123 accessible screens by the end June 2012. Details of accessible cinema screens and      roll-out dates are provided in the updated Plan available from the FaHCSIA website


There is rapid change in the accessible technology environment and ACAG is committed to remaining aware of these developments. Whilst the testing of new technology is out of scope for ACAG, there is a commitment to keep up to date about new technology as it becomes available.

Media Access Australia presented a report to ACAG on technology for cinema access.
Further information is available from the MAA website.

Disability Awareness Training Package

ACAG is working with the cinemas to enhance their existing training for cinema staff to include an awareness of the needs of people with disability, the operation of the accessible equipment in the cinemas, including Captiview, audio description and
hearing loops.

Leaving ID when borrowing closed caption or audio description units

Cinema chains have now agreed to accept school photo ID for students.

Questions and Answers

A list of questions and answers about accessible cinema is available for download from the FaHCSIA website.

Your feedback

ACAG is developing a Feedback Card, printed in large print and Braille, which will be available from cinemas. The card will encourage cinema patrons to provide feedback to the cinema or ACAG about their experience with accessible cinema.  As with any new development it takes a while for the appropriate training and routines to be set in place for expanding audiences. It is hoped that your feedback will assist cinemas to improve your future accessible cinema experience. You can provide feedback to ACAG by emailing

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