Nine of the UK’s main broadcasters and streamers have joined forces to help improve access for disabled talent across the TV industry. The TV Access Project (TAP) has been created by the BBC, Channel 4, Britbox International, Disney+ UK, ITV, Paramount, Prime Video, Sky and UKTV, with support from industry body CDN (the Creative Diversity Network) and PACT, representing the indie sector.
TAP has been formed in response to the campaign by Underlying Health Condition (UHC), which was set up by disabled creatives Genevieve Barr, Katie Player and Holly Lubran along with screenwriter Jack Thorne, following his impassioned MacTaggart Lecture at Edinburgh TV Festival in 2021. TAP is supported by TripleC DANC (Disabled Artists Networking Community) and DDPTV (Deaf & Disabled People in TV).
Together all these organisations want to ensure an inclusive television production sector for disabled talent. TAP aims to improve access provision substantively and permanently across the UK TV industry, looking at solutions that are pan-genre, considering both scripted and unscripted.
The project started in April, when Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer at the BBC, convened a pan-industry roundtable between disabled creatives and content creators. Since then, led by the BBC and Channel 4, broadcasters, streamers, industry bodies and disabled creatives have met regularly, focusing on two main areas: access on productions and access in studios and facilities. Today TAP announced:
The publication of new production guidelines for Disability Inclusion, the 5 As. All those who adopt the guidelines will commit to Anticipating, Asking, Assessing, Adjusting and Advocating when it comes to working with disabled talent and providing their access requirements.
A group of TAP members have published an open letter to Studios and Facilities to encourage the development of new industry standards for inclusivity in their workspaces as well. Those studios, post production houses and facilities that show they can meet these new guidelines will be given priority by TAP members when considering new UK commissions.