I went to an event with my family to the cinemas and had a good time, but it wasn’t all good. This is an email I sent today..
I would like to say overall the family enjoyed [redacted] and it was the first time we could feel confident and comfortable to go to the cinemas as a family. You are to be commended for the great day and the organisation it took to get this to happen!
I did have some suggestions for next time around the cinemas and the shopping centre, that I do not know is possible to implement. This is because society does not make things accessible for disabled kids like Jerome, and it may be impossible to find a venue that could have these options. I hope that this email could be used to send to the cinema and shopping centre for feedback.
The suggestions are:
- Jerome did a bowel movement in his nappy. We needed a full sized change table close by. We had two choices, try to find the central facility – which would have included being in a crowded lift with other people, or to change him in a place that was closer but not fit for purpose, like on the floor. We decided to change him in the meeting room of the cinema on the table (see image attached) that people usually reserve for eating. Ideally the cinema would have this kind of facility on the same floor. Furthermore, it might be useful to provide training to cinema staff on how to get to these facilities if people were happy to go to the facility.
- The disabled parking is non-standard. The disabled parking is not close to the entrance and we had to go across traffic with two kids, a wheelchair and a walker to get to the shopping centre entrance (see image attached). I would suggest that disabled parking be close to the entrance.
- On a minor point, I was surprised that the movie didn’t have captions. Not only does this help people with hearing difficulties, it also helps people for whom English is a second language.
As I mentioned before, we still had a lovely time, and we recognise that all of these are out of your hands.
It simply shows that I am justified in not being keen to go out a lot to new places. If with all of your efforts we still encounter barriers like this, what chance do we have when we try this on our own?
Thanks again for all your efforts in this. I hope we can make it to the next one!