UK TV Industry Report Reveals Scale Of Change Required On Disability –

The UK TV industry needs to attract 13,500 more disabled people to be truly reflective of the workforce and population, according to a landmark Disability in TV report released today by diversity body Diamond.

Analyzing disability progress over the past five years, the report states that the scale of progress required is “substantial and significant challenges are at the industry level and at the industry level”, particularly behind the camera, so that a minority can be properly represented. -A fifth of the UK population.


Diamond’s top-line number crunching found 5.8% disability representation off-screen and 8% on-screen in 2020/21 – the most recent period for which data is available – an increase of 13,519 people to match the general population. Will need to see.

Working with UK broadcasters, Diamond initially urged the industry to double its 4.5% off-screen disability representation by the end of 2021, but now the 9% figure has slowed. Most likely to be achieved in about five years time. Development

While people with disabilities are contributing more to TV shows – particularly in scripts – the report says this is due to existing talent being given more opportunities and exposure, rather than new people with disabilities entering the industry. I’m in.


“The scale of the challenge is enormous,” the report added. “This cannot be fixed by small-scale piecemeal activity. Transformation initiatives that focus on industry-wide change and that support retention are critical.


Breaking down the broadcaster’s representation of disability, the report raised concerns for Channel 4 – a network that has put disability front and center in diversity policy in recent years.

Off-screen, Channel 4’s representation of disability has fallen by 1pp to 6.2% over the past three years, while on-screen it has remained virtually flat at 7.3%. On the other hand, the BBC, which last week unveiled plans to have a disabled person in each of its unscripted shows, almost doubled off-screen to 7.3 per cent, although on-screen fell slightly to 8.9. percent is left.


Diamond stressed that improvements were “limited to a few areas of production”, mostly in non-senior roles and mainly in children’s and factual programmes.

Children’s is a blueprint for other genres to follow, with off-screen growing by a third to 6.6% in the past three years and on-screen growing by an impressive 11.9% last year – the UK’s largest Not far from the overall ratio of force. .

The drama genre has been criticized for having “not only the lowest proportion of off-screen contribution but a proportion that has been on the decline in recent years,” sitting at a woeful 3.4 percent off-screen last year.

Deborah Williams, CEO of the Creative Diversity Network, which oversees Diamond, said the figures show how many disability-led organizations and individuals are missing out on diversity conversations in the UK television industry. has been excluded.


But “all is not lost,” he added, and at the Edinburgh TV Festival Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, unveiled the TV Access project, which aims to rid the sector of accessibility issues. is an important cross-industry initiative for Working with Moore. help Author and disability campaigner Jack Thorne and his primary health condition lobby group on the push.

Williams added: “I fully believe that the data and evidence we have collected will accurately highlight gaps, trends, and where progress is or is not being made. By doing so, we can work collaboratively as producers, broadcasters, streamers, training providers, government and insurers to bring about the sustainable and meaningful change in our industry that we are all committed to.


Diamond issued a series of recommendations, which are reproduced below, including for the industry to “adopt a social model of disability with a focus on building an inclusive commissioning process.” It called for better sharing of best practice between genres and more collaboration between broadcasters and producers.

Complete recommendations

  • Industry should follow a social model of disability, focusing on an inclusive commissioning process and building a working environment (physically and culturally) in which all skills can flourish.
  • More efforts need to be made to increase representation in senior roles which is currently in decline at best or at worst.
  • Efforts should be made to share and learn from success in better performing species.
  • Providing accessibility and reasonable accommodation is a legal requirement and should be an industry standard.
  • The sector needs to focus on initiatives that change sector policy and practice, and which are likely to be far-reaching..
  • Broadcasters and producers need to work together to ensure that arrangements and resources are pre-defined and automatically available to provide appropriate adjustments and access.
  • Each production must have a budget line to meet the accessibility provision, and all productions must have easily accessible ring-fenced funds available to meet the accessibility provision.
  • All studios and recording spaces must be required by the industry to be fully accessible.

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