Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) hosted a free, sensory-friendly screening of “The Secret Life of Pets 2” on Saturday, June 8 at Carmel Cinema for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs. To help children and their families better enjoy themselves, the movie’s volume was lowered and the house lights were set at half capacity in this judgement free zone. This is the second sensory-friendly movie screening Byrne has hosted in the past two years.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy themselves at the movies comfortably,” said Byrne. “I am thrilled we were able to help over a dozen families spend some quality time together with this special sensory-friendly screening. Events like these help encourage a more inclusive environment where people of all abilities can participate in our community.”
In May 2018, Byrne, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra held a forum on Dutchess County’s highly successful Think Differently initiative to identify ways that the community could better support individuals with special needs. The Putnam County Legislature passed a resolution in August 2018 to affirm its commitment to Think Differently about how it deals with people of different abilities. Byrne stated that this event was one way of following through on that resolution.
“I’m happy to see Assemblyman Byrne taking the time to raise awareness for the special needs community in our area,” said John O’Connor. “It was a terrific event that both my son and the rest of our family enjoyed in a space that was welcoming to all. On behalf of our entire family, I’d like to thank Assemblyman Byrne for putting together this great event!”