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Indie Dragonfly is calling for a broadcaster-led fund to be set up as a means to pay for cast and crew access needs faster than the government-backed Access to Work scheme.

Off the back of its disability rights drama Then Barbara Met Alan, the Banijay-owned company has published a report that recommends the creation of an “access fund” to cover any unexpected extra costs in making necessary adjustments.

The report was compiled by producer Bryony Arnold, who heads up the group Deaf and Disabled in TV, and Dragonfly head of documentaries Tom Pullen.

He told Broadcast: “Access to work isn’t necessarily compatible with the freelance, short contract nature of our work. Should someone’s access needs cost more than what was originally anticipated, the fund would help to ensure that the show’s original budget remains spent on screen.”

The report also encourages producers to employ access coordinators for the entire duration of a production, and for a centralised database of disabled talent, who are underrepresented on agents’ client lists.

Dragonfly made the further recommendation that disability awareness and training, which was undertaken by the BBC on the drama, be mandatory so that able-bodied creatives and execs have a better understanding of their disabled colleagues’ needs.

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