National broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV and Sky have pledged their support to increase the number of disabled people working on and off screen by 2020.
According to the Creative Diversity Network (CDN), only 11.3% of those in television are disabled. The CDN carefully monitor diversity across UK broadcasting and have proposed a new scheme to increase this representation.
Supported by the Department of Work and Pensions, CDN’s initiative ‘Doubling Disability’ proposes to address the proportionately low number of disabled people working in television.
Using a data collection system called Diamond, CDN was able to measure the diversity of people working on a specific TV programme. The data allowed the industry to initially analyse who’s on TV and who makes TV and then monitor its progress thereafter. The reaction to the Diamond report has been very positive by the main broadcasters who agree changes must be made.
CEO of CDN, Deborah Williams, said: “Doubling Disability is the first of many diversity interventions fuelled by the data evidence from Diamond. It has been great to be able to gain insight for disability and the industry alongside the activities other broadcasters are currently carrying out.”
Accurately representing the UK’s 14 million disabled people is something Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of ITV, is firmly focussed on. She said: “As the nation’s most watched commercial broadcaster, we’ve brought disability representation on screen to the heart of our mainstream schedule, from our biggest soaps, to the winner of our biggest entertainment show in 2018. Disability is one of the core priorities of our diversity and inclusion strategy both on-screen and for our colleagues.”