National Film And Television School Joins TV Access Project (TAP)

The National Film and Television School is proud to announce it has joined the TV Access Project (TAP) as partner, one year on from the initiatives launch at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August 2022

TAP was 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 the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2021.

tv access project and national film and television school logos with blurred shapes in background

TAP is an alliance of 10 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.

As a key feeder for the film and television industry (85% of UK broadcaster spend on high end television has at least one NFTS graduate in a key role), the National Film and Television School is committed to supporting disabled talent and being a catalyst for effective and meaningful change to issues faced by disabled talent within the industry. As part of our commitment to delivering change in this area, the NFTS has developed an action plan of steps we will take to counter the physical, cultural and structural barriers faced by disabled creatives. Read our full Disabled Talent Commitment (pdf).

TAP has celebrated the progress made to date by the alliance, marking this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival with key initiatives and events and laying out its vision to see full inclusion for Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent talent by 2030. The project is an ambitious co-creation between disabled people and the wider industry to deliver sustainable solutions. 

In Phase One of its roadmap, TAP has delivered 20 sustainable, tangible solutions including ‘5As’ Guidelines and widespread training on inclusivity in production, an Access to Work pilot scheme and TAP Activator commitments for Production Spaces.

TAP has also produced a Roadmap to Full Inclusion by 2030 outlining the anticipated next steps and milestones, as Phase 2 begins under new project leadership and moves towards seeing disability inclusion folded into standard industry practice by 2030.

The broadcasters and streamers who have committed to the principles and protocols developed by TAP include BBC, ITV, Sky, Disney and Amazon Prime Video. The National Film and Television School joins alongside partners including Creative Diversity Network, Neurodiverse Media Community and ScreenSkills, who all contribute by providing experienced talent for the workstream.

"It is amazing to have NFTS in the TAP fold,” commented screenwriter Jack Thorne. “I was given the opportunity to look around their facilities recently, and it's an incredible place. Their support and training expertise will play a vital part in further boosting the pipeline of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent talent across all areas of the TV industry as we work together towards the goal of full inclusion by 2030."

jack thorne
Jack Thorne

Hamish Thompson, NFTS Disability Advocate added: “The TV Access Project has brought the industry together to work on bringing tangible change for the past year. I’m thrilled that we are joining as a partner as we implement the 5 As as standard for our staff and students, engaging with the workstreams and in exploring how we can bring more disabled creative talent to the sector. This work will always be ongoing. But by joining the collective conversation, we want to bring more education partners to the table as we address the vital need for disabled talent - not just in HoD positions, but craft production roles too.”

The National Film and Television School is proud to partner with TAP to ensure we are closely collaborating with the people who will be directly affected by the access and inclusion decisions that are made at the School and within the wider industry.

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