A Bradford cinema is set to offer more disability friendly screenings for adults with autism and other disabilities.

There will be a number of accessible screenings at The Light in Bradford city centre for Disability History Month.

From relaxed lightings to lower volume, the showings are hoped to make the cinema more welcoming for people across the neurodiversity spectrum.

There will be dedicated screenings for popular new films like The Marvels and the Hunger Games prequel, Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

For Carly Miller, it marks the start of a journey towards a more inclusive world.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Carly, pictured at The Light in BradfordCarly, pictured at The Light in Bradford (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

The disability practitioner, who has autism, said: “I realised autism friendly screenings tend to be for films aimed at younger children and I wondered what happened when we got older.

“I asked some other neurodivergent people and some talked about the cinema being too loud whereas others mentioned how subtitles aid concentration. It seemed like there might be a bit of a gap so I thought I could look into it and eventually was directed to speak to The Light cinema, who were immediately willing to try something different.

“They are doing two types of screening in recognition that one size fits all doesn’t work for the neurodivergent community. It is hoped that these screenings might make the cinema more accessible for a wide range of people and they are open to anyone.

“There might still be barriers and these screenings are a starting point rather than a perfect solution. There will also be neurodivergent people who don’t experience any barrier when going through cinema.”

The screenings were also brought about alongside Bradford-based artist YAYA, Bradford Bid, and Councillor Si Cunningham (Bolton and Undercliffe, Labour).

Carly added: “The disabled community isn’t homogenous so there can be a wide range of things - limited space for wheelchair users, limited number of subtitled screenings for the deaf / hard of hearing community, the volume being too loud. For me I mainly want more subtitled screenings as that helps me concentrate.

“Whenever new spaces are being built or events are being planned the accessibility for disabled people needs to be part of the discussion from the very start. So often it feels like people are being reactive to an accessibility need rather than proactive.

“I’m incredibly grateful to The Light for their response and their willingness to try something new. What we wanted was to do something as a starting point to build on.”