TV channels unite to support People with Disabilities day

To mark International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) on Tuesday 3 December, the BBC and ITV will host an event focussed on disability and the media. It will be an important discussion and a chance to open people’s eyes to the struggles and mishaps of living with a disability, and also, for those family members who have to care for someone they love with a disability. It may even help those with disabilities learn more about insurance and claims which they can access to help them out long term.

The rival terrestrial channels said the event would bring together contributors from all the major UK broadcasters for the first time.

Sharing experiences

BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5/ Viacom and Sky will come together to share experiences, challenges, and best practice, as all five broadcasters continue to progress towards Doubling Disability by 2020, an initiative led by the Creative Diversity Network (CDN).

BBC Salford will host the morning sessions and ITV London will host the afternoon sessions, which will be open to staff from all the broadcasters and a wider audience.

Improve knowledge

The aim of each of the one-hour sessions is to improve knowledge and confidence around disability, on and off-screen; to empower staff to challenge and implement positive changes, and to build awareness of common barriers to development opportunities within the organizations and how to overcome them. These days, there are is more access and open-mindedness to disabled people allowing them to live as much a normal life as possible. They have much more accessible pathways, public facilities, cars, and there are schemes and insurance policies for disabled people as well – even if it is a long-term disability, they can find a long-term disability insurance quote to compare their options. With this in mind, the hurdle remains at awareness and understanding and allowing them to be inclusive in the workplace, teaching everyone how they can be an important attribute to a team.

The sessions will be streamed across both venues.

A Visible Me

The day follows the successful event, A Visible Me, hosted by the BBC and ITV on IDPWD 2018, which opened up the conversation about hidden disabilities.

It brought together diverse on-screen talent with off-screen managers, co-workers and networks to discuss some of the challenges and under-representation that is still evident behind the camera.

This year’s event will build on those conversations and the work being done as part of the commitment to double disability across the industry.

“The BBC wants to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities”, said Clare Sumner, BBC’s Director of Policy and BBC’s Executive Sponsor of Culture and Career Progression for disabled colleagues.

“I am delighted that we are co-hosting an event with ITV to drive our ambition to be more inclusive and ground-breaking in our approach.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring more talented disabled people in to our industry.”

Mark Smith, ITV Group CTO and ITV Able Sponsor, said: “As the sponsor of our newly launched ITV Able network, I am delighted that ITV are once again partnering with the BBC, and this year also with the other main broadcasters, to host this event in celebration of International Day of People with Disabilities.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for collaboration across the broadcasters and demonstrates the on-going commitment and passion we all share to build an inclusive and representative industry where everyone can thrive.”

Tickets are available for the following sessions, content subject to change:

Disability Focus

BBC Quay House, Media City Salford (09.45 arrival for 10.00-13.00)

BBC Project Cape

BBC to talk about supporting neurodiversity with Project Cape with Q&A lead by Actor Ross Grant

Behind the Camera: The role of writers and designing content

Actor Ross Grant to chair a discussion with BBC Ouch, Writers Room, ITV SignPost, and ITV News

On-Screen Talent: Understanding & Removing Barriers and improving representation

Panel and Q&A featuring Hollyoaks and ITV talent, chaired by Deborah Williams, Executive Director at Creative Diversity Network

Tickets to attend the live session in Salford, include the option of watching a live stream of the London sessions in the afternoon.

Disability Focus

ITV Gray’s Inn Road, London (13.30 arrival for 13.45-17.15)

Internal Engagement: Starting the conversation and understanding the barriers

Clare Sumner, BBC’s Directory of Policy, Allan MacKillop, BBC’s Disability Lead and Paul Wright, Senior Manager, Inclusion & Wellbeing for The Bank of England

Being Inclusive: The Little Things that make a Big Difference

Viacom Presents actress, presenter and disability activist Samantha Renke as she discusses her journey from teacher to actress and the small things along the way that made a huge difference in supporting her disability.

The talk will be followed up by a conversation between Samantha and Purple Space, the networking and professional development hub for employees with a disability.

Showcase: Best practice & Sharing Stories

Past and present trainees from Sky and Channel 4 talk about their successes working on programmes such as Riveria, the Paralympics and Delicious

Tickets to attend the live session in London, include option of watching live stream from the Salford sessions in the morning.