Portsmouth campaigner want ‘Fair deal’ for disabled cinema-goers

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CAMPAIGNER Jonathan Gilmour wants people to back a drive to end the ‘second class service’ for disabled customers at cinemas, following the results of an undercover investigation released today.

The 22-year-old from Portsmouth is a member of Trailblazers – part of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign – which visited 125 cinemas across the country.

The 100 people who took part reported ‘poor or very poor views’ of the screen from wheelchair-accessible seating at one major operator, with more than half of chain cinemas having uncomfortable seating areas for the disabled. The report said a third of chain cinemas had poor or very poor disability awareness which often led to rude or embarrassing treatment of disabled customers.

Jonathan visited five cinemas, including Portsmouth Vue and Chichester Cineworld. He praised the venues for offering a generally acceptable service to disabled customers, but says more needs to be done to ensure others across the country get a fair deal. He is asking members of the public to sign a petition backing the charter, which will be presented to cinema operators and to MPs at Westminster later this year.

Jonathan, who has a muscle-wasting condition, said: ‘I hope that people will support our petition and encourage cinemas to fully consider their disabled customers.’ Go to mdctrailblazers.org to sign the petition.

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