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ITV Studios Appoints First In-House Access Coordinator as Part of Television Accessibility Initiative

ITV Studios is upping its commitment to making the TV industry more accessible with the hiring of its first in-house disability access coordinator, alongside becoming an associate member of the TV Access Project.

The British multinational TV production and distribution company announced Wednesday that it has appointed Bethany Matthews to serve as its first-ever in-house coordinator. In the role, Matthews will ensure accessibility requirements and solutions are available across all seven in-house ITV Studios’ drama labels to those who are Deaf, disabled, neurodivergent or have long-term health conditions.

“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,” said Julie Clark, director of production, drama, 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.”

Matthews will report to Clark and Sam Tatlow MBE, creative diversity, partner at ITV, and in the new role, work to make sure all production teams, crew and cast complete accessibility training, review the accessibility of production sites and work with post-production on confirming accessible editing facilities. Matthews, one of the first 12 access coordinators to be trained in the U.K. by ScreenSkills and Bridge06, previously worked at the BBC, Netflix, Sky and Channel 4.

“I’m so excited to join ITV Studios and be a part of creating change in our industry,” Matthews said in a statement. “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.”

As part of joining TAP, ITV Studios has agreed to meet its guidelines for disability inclusion around talent on productions as well as studios and facility spaces.

ITV is the latest to join the pan-industry effort that pledges to work towards substantive and permanent structural industry shifts across scripted and unscripted. Supported by the Creative Diversity Network and PACT, TAP was launched in August 2022 in response to a campaign by Underlying Health Condition led by disabled creatives Genevieve Barr, Katie Player, Holly Lubran and Jack Thorne.

All 10 of the U.K.’s biggest broadcasters and streamers — BBC, Channel 4, Britbox International, Disney+ UK, ITV, Paramount, Prime Video, Sky and UKTV — were attached by September, with each company agreeing to address issues around funding models for access and adjustments, the deployment of access coordinators and both disabled talent’s retention and progression into senior roles.

“The success of the TV Access Project depends on the collaboration between big industry players and disabled creatives working on the ground in production,” said Tanya Motie, co-project lead of the TV Access Project, in a statement. “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.” 



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