ITV Studios has become an Associate Member of the TV Access Project (TAP), as part of its wider commitment to make the TV industry more accessible for Disabled talent. In addition, Bethany Matthews has been appointed as ITV Studios’ first in-house Access Coordinator.
The appointment of Bethany Matthews as Access Coordinator will help to ensure that access requirements for Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent people, and anyone with long-term health conditions are met.
Reporting to Julie Clark, Director of Production, Drama at ITV Studios, and Sam Tatlow MBE, Creative Diversity, Partner at ITV, Bethany will sit across all seven in-house ITV Studios’ Drama labels, working alongside production teams to ensure solutions are in place that remove barriers to accessibility requirements. This includes: ensuring all production teams, crew and cast complete accessibility training, reviewing the accessibility of production sites and working with post-production to ensure accessible editing facilities.
Bethany was one of the first 12 Access Coordinators to be trained in the UK by ScreenSkills and Bridge06. Bethany has been championing Disabled talent on and off-screen through her previous work with the BBC, Netflix, Sky and Channel 4 and continues to expand her knowledge of Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent communities.
By signing up, ITV Studios commits to meeting TAP’s guidelines for Disability Inclusion, the 5As: Anticipating, Asking, Assessing, Adjusting and Advocating when it comes to working with Disabled talent and making our production spaces accessible for all. As part of TAP, ITV Studios will work pan-industry to consider issues including funding models for access and reasonable adjustments, the rollout of Access Coordinators and the retention and progression of Disabled talent into senior roles.
Julie Clark, Director of Production, Drama, ITV Studios said: “We’re really proud to support the TV Access Project and to be an active part of tangible change. The underrepresentation of Disabled people in our industry continues to be an urgent issue and something we’re working on at ITV Studios. Bethany is an incredible addition to the team and will be key in finding solutions to removing barriers so that anyone who works with us can do their best work.”
Bethany Matthews, Accessibility Coordinator, ITV Studios, said: “I’m so excited to join ITV Studios and be a part of creating change in our industry. This is about the bigger picture for me. When accessibility is at the forefront of production, whether it’s through making the casting process or post-production more accessible to talent, we’ll really start to see talent that the industry has been missing.”
Tanya Motie, Co-Project Lead, TV Access Project, said: "The success of the TV Access Project depends on the collaboration between big industry players and disabled creatives working on the ground in production. Having been working alongside committed creatives from ITV Studios on several TAP workstreams throughout the year, we are delighted that ITV Studios has now become a TAP Associate Member to help the drive towards our goal of full inclusion by 2030."
Launched in August 2022 in response to the Underlying Health Condition campaign, TAP is an alliance of ten of the UK’s biggest broadcasters and streamers who have pledged to work together to create a substantive and permanent structural shift in the TV industry to ensure access provision for Disabled talent. Its vision is to see full inclusion by 2030 – that is to say, a television industry where no Disabled talent is ever excluded because barriers have been removed and equity created.
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