ITV Studios has launched a new programme to widen its talent pool of disabled writers.
The Disabled Writers in Development initiative will be paid for through its £500k Diversity Development Fund which was created to develop new ideas and talent.
“At ITV, we’re continuing to ensure that we are representative of our audience all year round,” explained Sam Tatlow, Creative Diversity Partner at ITV.
“A programme like this will create unique opportunities for Disabled editorial talent and encourage those who hadn’t considered a career in production to pursue it. As well as, creating a platform to bring their ideas to life.”
It’s being supported by Patrick Spence’s scripted Studio and Tall Story Pictures, and will run over a 12-month period.
4 writers will develop an ITV-focussed idea and write a pilot script. They will then pitch in a meeting with ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill and the drama commissioning team.
A Development Executive from each label will work with two writers, supporting and developing their individual projects.
A Trainee Script Editor will be placed at at scripted Studio and Tall Story Pictures, with these placements ring-fenced for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people.
“We’re completely delighted to be involved in the Disabled Writers in Development programme, and to further the work Tall Story Pictures does to support talent from under-represented groups and help make our industry more diverse and inclusive,” added Catherine Oldfield, Creative Director at Tall Story Pictures.
“The industry needs long-term, sustainable change and we are proud to be a part of delivering this.”
According to the Creative Diversity Network’s Diamond data, Disabled people remain underrepresented in the industry and particularly in off-screen roles with the Fifth Cut report showing that 4.5% of off-screen roles at ITV were filled by people who identified as disabled.