Cinema captioning and audio description: Decision on application for temporary exemption under DDA section 55

The Commission has considered the application from Hoyts Corporation, Greater Union Organisation, Village Cinemas and Reading Cinemas for temporary exemption under section 55 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 ( the DDA) in relation to the provision of captions and audio description in cinemas operated by the applicants.

The Commission has decided not to grant the exemption.

In making this decision the Commission considered:

  • Whether the activities that are the subject of the application constitute discrimination contrary to the DDA;
  • Whether granting the exemption would be consistent with the objects of the DDA;
  • The applicant's reasons for seeking an exemption;
  • Submissions by interested parties; and
  • All relevant provisions of the DDA.

The Commission also had regard to the reasonableness of the exemption sought, weighing up the nature and extent of its discriminatory effect against the reasons advanced in its favour.

While the Commission has in the past granted temporary exemptions on the basis of commitments by applicants to take action progressively to meet the objects of the DDA, in this instance on balance the Commission did not consider the application to represent sufficient progress to be considered reasonable.

A fuller version of this decision and statement of reasons will be posted shortly on the Commission's website.