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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Driving Change for Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent Creatives in Scotland’s Screen Industries

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A new year-long programme has been launched to kickstart an increase in employment, representation and elevation of deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent (DDN) talent across film and TV in Scotland.

The programme will be delivered by BAFTA award-winning disabled-led organisation TripleC, screen practitioner Sara Harkins and an expert steering group of Scotland-based creatives.  

The Scotland-wide programme, supported by Screen Scotland through its Skills Fund, aims to ensure that Scotland has a diverse screen workforce.

It will begin with TripleC bringing the next Disabled Artists Networking Community (DANC) event to Glasgow on Mon 3 June, which is free for attendees and includes a panel discussion and networking opportunity between industry and creative talent.  

DANC provides masterclasses, webinars, networking events and training for DDN talent and connects that talent to the screen industry.

DANC also works with industry to provide support and training.  

Activity on the programme has been led by engagement with DDN talent in Scotland and round-table discussions from a previous research phase of the project which was also supported by Screen Scotland.

Outcomes of the project include growing a network of Scottish DDN talent, supporting existing DDN talent in their career development and discovering what the current barriers are for DDN talent in Scotland.  

Throughout the year there will be several online events as well as another in-person event to ensure DDN talent can engage with and benefit from this programme of activity. 

Melissa Johns, actor/writer and TripleC DANC Co-Creative Lead, said: 

“We are so excited to be bringing DANC (Disabled Artists’ Networking Community) to Scotland and to be kick-starting this drive for change.

“When we launched DANC in 2018 we knew that using action and solution focused approaches would support a momentum for change that we – the deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent (DDN) community – so needed to see. 

“Scotland is buzzing with incredible DDN talent as well as a wealth of opportunities. 

“We are confident that, with the support of a fantastic Scotland-based steering group, the changes that we have started to see in other parts of the UK over the last few years will be replicated in Scotland, creating an industry that is accessible and inclusive for everyone” 

Steven Little, Head of Production at Screen Scotland said:

“The work that TripleC and Sara Harkins are doing to engage and support DDN talent in Scotland is vital to ensure that Scotland’s workforce is diverse and inclusive. 

“DDN talent have always played an important role in the screen industry, offering fresh voices and perspectives but accessing the industry needs to be significantly improved.   

“The two upcoming in-person events alongside several online events and panel discussions are positive steps forward to build better networks between creative talent and industry.

“Screen Scotland is committed to ensuring that we are not only just having discussions on creating a more inclusive workforce but that we are also helping to support action on this. 

“This is the beginning of some very significant engagement within Scotland’s screen sector.”   

Keep up to date on further updates on this work by following TripleC and Screen Scotland.  

This programme will sit alongside Working Differently, a short film and good practice guide, supported by Screen Scotland, aimed at promoting awareness, understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity in the Scottish film and television industry.  

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