Open Captions Australia Inc.
The original name for Open Captions Australia, Deaf Cinema Club was founded in February 2012, by two founders; Anthony Sammons and Bryn Davies in Melbourne with passion for accessibility in Cinemas. After some successful negotiations with distributors and cinemas, including trial events at a small Melbourne cinema, Open Captions became available to Australia from November 2012 through major distributors. Deaf Cinema Club soon expanded to Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. Deaf Cinema Club slowly gained a strong following within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, growing to over 500 members by early 2015. These members had joined Deaf Cinema Club to have access to private open-captioned screenings in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Brisbane was fortunate to have a small cinema agree to schedule public open captioned movies that was open for everyone.
To attract a wider audience and broad appeal, the Deaf Cinema Club changed its name to Open Captions Australia. They also formalized their group by becoming incorporated on 24th February 2015. Their objective is to collaborate with cinemas across Australia to deliver open captioned screenings and provide patrons a choice of movies, time slot, and venue. This change and collaboration led to cinemas starting to schedule their own open captioned screenings and list them on their website open to the public, and it was not until 2019 that all major cities across Australia had cinemas showing public open captioned screenings, a positive step forward for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community as well as sections of society that benefit from open captions.
Open Captions Australia is a not-for-profit and a volunteer-run organisation formed aimed at improving accessibility in cinemas across the country, by working with the industry to deliver scheduled open captioned screenings to be enjoyed by those that benefit from them.
We are delighted that through our partnerships with cinemas nation-wide, there are regular open captioned screenings and we will endeavour to continue promoting these movies to the wider community.
If you are a cinema operator and would like to establish an Open Captions program at your cinema, please contact us and we can work together in making it a success.