Published in Samaa, on Oct 23th, 2018,
Vox Cinemas in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah is screening children’s films at lower light and sound levels to accommodate children with sensory disorders.
“We observed that families with autistic children were facing challenges in taking their kids to cinemas, and the sensory screenings were a by-product of an effort to bridge this gap,” says Michelle Walsh, chief operating officer of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, which operates Vox Cinemas in the UAE.
“We have regular visitors who come in every month and children who leave feeling excited, happy and cared for.”
Vox talked to child experts and autism centres to develop light and sound levels that children with sensory-processing disorders can be comfortable with. The screenings are for children who can become emotionally frustrated or physically sick from excessive exposure to sensory stimuli.
The cinema attracts children with various disorders and disabilities. The initiative started three months back and developed out of the Sunday Funday programme that Vox cinemas has been running for autistic kids since 2000. Vox owns sensory-adapted screenings in Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Lebanon.