Advanced Television

The TV Access Project announces as project lead

January 16, 2024

The TV Access Project (TAP) has announced a new project lead in Heloise Beaton.

Beaton joins The TV Access Project from her role as Disability Lead at thinkBIGGER!, where she had the opportunity to work closely with organisations such as BAFTA and ScreenSkills to develop disability inclusive practices. In her new role as Project Lead for TAP, Beaton will ensure the mechanisms for structural, tangible and long-lasting change for the inclusion of disabled talent across the TV industry, which are outlined in the TAP Roadmap to Full Inclusion by 2030, are put in place. Her remit will include central project and membership management, as well as workstream accountability – working with the key broadcasters, streamers and partners who have all signed up to TAP.

Glasgow-based Beaton freelanced as an unscripted TV Producer for ten years and has worked on productions such as Question Time, Dispatches and Ready Steady Cook. Eli was named as a One to Watch at Edinburgh TV Festival 2023 and sits on the Board of Disability Arts Online and the Committee for the Disability in Journalism Forum.

Beaton said: “I am excited to be joining the TV Access Project, as I believe there is an opportunity to create real and meaningful change in the TV industry. Previous Project Leads Ally Castle and Tanya Motie have set in motion great initiatives that pave the way for a more inclusive television landscape and I’m looking forward to building on this.”

Jack Thorne, Writer, whose Edinburgh TV Festival Mactaggart lecture in 2021 instigated the founding of TAP said: “We are all so excited to be working with Heloise on the next stage of TAP. She’s going to be the dynamic, brilliant lead to take us and the industry even further toward the goal of being fully accessible by 2030.”

Ade Rawcliffe, Group Director of Diversity & Inclusion at ITV said: “The TV Access Project has made some incredible strides since it launched in August 2022. However, as a responsible industry we still have more to do. I look forward to working with all the other TAP group members to empower our new Project Lead, Heloise to continue to champion the TV industry as one that is wholly inclusive to all, regardless of your accessibility needs.”

Beaton takes over from the inaugural TAP co-leads, Ally Castle and Tanya Motie. During Ally and Tanya’s tenure they delivered Phase One of TAP’s roadmap, including delivering 20 sustainable, tangible solutions such as the 5As Guidelines and widespread training on inclusivity in production, an Access to Work pilot scheme, TAP Activator commitments for Production Spaces and more.

At the 2023 Women in Film and TV Awards, Castle and Motie were awarded The ITV Studios Achievement of the Year Award for their work on the project.

Beaton will work closely with the TAP Core leadership group, which is made up of Thorne and Genivieve Barr (Underlying Health Condition), Cherylee Houston and Laurence Clark (Triple C/DANC), Bryony Arnold (Deaf and Disabled People in TV), Nichola Garde (BBC), Sam Tatlow (ITV), Emma Hardy (Channel 4), and Luke Seraphin (Sky).

TAP’s workstreams include representatives from broadcasters, industry bodies, disabled-led groups and organisations, and the freelance community. The workstreams are currently focused on: Industry standards, Access Roles, Funding Models, Improving Access to Work, Access Roles, Talent Retention and Progression, and Production Spaces. They are likely to grow as the project moves into Phase 2, focussing on monitoring progress and developing talent pipelines.

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