New initiative launched to battle disabled access issues in TV industry

TV Access Project, or TAP, will launch this week at Edinburgh TV Festival to battle disability access issues across the UK in the TV Sector.

TV Set

Talk about grabbing the bull by the horns. Deadline has reported that a new initiative to tackle disability access issues in the UK TV industry. 

The BBC, Channel 4, Disney+ UK, ITV, Paramount, UKTV, Prime Video, Sky and Britbox International have all signed up to TV Access Project, also known as TAP, which is also backed by Pact and the Creative Diversity Network (CDN). The project is spearheaded by BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore.

The initiative specifically targets studios and post-production houses and demands them to provide better access for disabled users. It has been quietly simmering since April, when Moore helped put together a pan-industry roundtable of disabled creatives, industry bosses and trade groups such as Pact and the CDN among others. 

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It was spurred on by the release of a report, titled Everyone Forgot About the Toilets, by Undelying Health Condition (UHC). The report revealed the damning evidence of just how inaccessible the industry is for disabled creatives. 

Following further roundtable discussions, TAP has revealed a new set of guidelines, including the five A’s: Anticipate, Ask, Assess, Adjust, Advocate. TAP has also committed to exploring other issues over the year such as Access Coordinator roles and the retention of disabled talent. Deadline also had access to a letter TAP has issued on the matter. 

“The UK TV and Film  industry does not have a standard that sets out our expectations for inclusive workspaces. We believe that now it is time to make one” the letter states. 

The letter also details a three-stage plan to tackle the issues: a roundtable in Autumn to agree on next steps, working on a pan-industry access group and audit facilities to determine a timeline for work to be done. 

It’s a huge endeavour and a step in the right direction to ensure that disabled creatives aren’t being discriminated against in the industry. The news of TAP comes only a day after it was reported that actors will be issued nudity warnings in an anti-bullying move from Equity, in a move to create safer working environments and tackle harassment.


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