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ITV Studios has signed its first access coordinator in a bid to meet the needs of deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent people across its seven drama labels.

Bethany Matthews is one of twelve access coordinators trained up by ScreenSkills and disability organisation Bridge06 last year to drive best practice in meeting access needs.

Matthews will work with labels including Happy Price, Mammoth Screen, Monumental Television and Tall Story Pictures to establish and maintain protocols that require all production teams to complete training and review their production processes.

Matthews, who has previously worked with the BBC, Netflix, Sky and Channel 4, will report into ITV director of production for drama Julie Clark and creative diversity partner Sam Tatlow.

Bethany smiling

Bethany Matthews

 “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,” said Matthews.  

ITVS is now an associate member of the TV Access Project (TAP), an alliance of ten UK broadcasters. The role requires the organisation to commit to meet its disability inclusion guidelines. known as the 5As: Anticipating, Asking, Assessing, Adjusting and Advocating when it comes to working with disabled talent and making our production spaces accessible for all.

It will work with industry partners to fund models for access and reasonable adjustments, roll out access coordinators and retain and progress disabled talent into senior roles. 

Matthews’ appointment follows Bad Sisters indie Merman’s recent hire of access coordinator Jess Mabel Jones, whose credits include BBC1’s Ralph and Katie and Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small.

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