On Friday, 28 October, The Walt Disney Company UK&I joined forces with Bridge06, Hot Coals Productions and ITV for ABOUT TIME! an event dedicated to celebrating deaf, disabled and neurodivergent talent at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London.
Created by Bridge06, a creative and strategic consultancy working to improve disability representation in entertainment, and Hot Coals Productions, which specializes in making work accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences, ABOUT TIME! challenged the lack of representation and opportunity for talented disabled actors working in British creative industries.
Ahead of the event, five commitments to implement systemic change within the industry were shared with invitees. As part of accepting the invitation to attend, the audience of industry decision-makers were asked to commit to making one or a number of the below agreements.
- Cast a Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent actor as a lead or co-lead performer in a new show.
- Develop a new title around a Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent actor.
- Cast a returning drama with a Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent actors in key roles/as a lead role.
- Apply a 1 in 5 rule for talent meetings and castings to improve the opportunities for Deaf, Disabled or Neurodivergent talent.
- Schedule meetings with each of the actors taking part in ABOUT TIME!
Commenting on the scheme Johanna Devereaux, VP Scripted & DE&I Strategy, The Walt Disney Company, EMEA said: “We are incredibly proud to support this talented and passionate group in celebrating Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent artists. As we ramp up our UK and European productions, Disney+ is committed to fostering a more inclusive, accessible UK TV industry, both on- and off-screen.”