It’s an exciting time of innovation and change in the world of philanthropy. Our President and CEO, Marina Glogovac, recently wrote about “The Changing Landscape of Charitable Giving”. This week, an exciting initiative was announced, that serves as a simple, tangible example of a charity and business working together to address a specific social problem in a new, innovative way.
Cineplex Entertainment, in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada, has announced plans to offer special movie screenings for people with autism. Sensory Friendly Screenings will include increased lighting, lower volume and smaller crowds. Available at select theatres across Canada; this new program will give those diagnosed with Autism the opportunity of a “theatre experience.”
The first Sensory Friendly Screening will take place this Saturday, February 14, with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Participating Theatres will also provide a “calm zone” for families in need of a break, as well as the approval of outside food for any dietary restrictions.
“We are proud to partner with Cineplex on the Sensory Friendly Screening program,” said Jill Farber, executive director of Autism Speaks Canada. “We congratulate Cineplex for its awareness of the unique needs of the ASD community and for providing families an opportunity to enjoy a movie together in an especially welcoming environment.”
Autism and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a wide scale of complex disorders of brain development. Affecting millions worldwide, these disorders quite often take the form in repetitive behaviours, difficulties in social interactions as well as verbal and nonverbal communication.
According to Jill Farber, those with Autism usually experience difficulties when processing sensory information, such as sounds, sights and smell; which can grow into “sensory overload.”
From raising awareness to being an advocate for individuals with autism and their families; Autism Speaks Canada aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice. The mission is to fund the best research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism. Autism Speaks. It’s time to listen.