Disabled animation staff express worries about discrimination

Disabled animation staff express worries about discrimination
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According to a ScreenSkills research, over three-quarters (74%) of handicapped persons working in animation believe the industry discriminates against them.

Based on a study of 120 handicapped and non-disabled persons working in animation, the Accessibility in Animation report paints a “bleak image” for disabled people.

Disabled animation staff express worries about discrimination

Non-disabled respondents think that handicapped persons are discriminated against in half of the cases (52%), whereas 30% believe that disability cannot be addressed.

More than half (56%) of the 21 handicapped respondents do not believe that animation is a suitable business for disabled people to engage in, and 60% believe that disability cannot be freely mentioned.

Disabled animation staff express worries about discrimination

Nearly half of handicapped respondents (43%) believe that recruitment does not promote disabled applications, and a similar amount (47%) believe that there is not enough training to educate personnel on disability, accessibility, and inclusion.

A large majority of disabled respondents (81%) believe that creating accessible and flexible career pathways and supporting flexible working are important steps to take, while 62 percent believe that employers should uphold their legal responsibilities to accommodate reasonable adjustments and access needs, as well as promote inclusive recruitment practises.

Non-disabled respondents think that handicapped persons are discriminated against in half of the cases (52%), whereas 30% believe that disability cannot be addressed.

More training for senior workers with line management duties, as well as more advice on career growth routes, were suggested in the study as methods for the industry to become more accessible. 

Disabled animation staff express worries about discrimination

It also pushes businesses to examine their working procedures, especially in the area of recruiting.

“These figures show in plain and white how much work remains,” said Tom Box, co-founder and managing director of Blue Zoo Animation Studio and head of the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council.

“I believe that one of the most beneficial ways ScreenSkills may assist is with management training and recruiting.” 


It’s all too easy for studios to believe they’re doing enough, but these numbers prove that’s not the case. 

Disabled animation staff express worries about discrimination

One step in delivering inclusive working practises for handicapped people is management and recruitment training.

“After receiving and reviewing the report, ScreenSkills and its Animation Skills Council will work with the wider industry to create a forum for knowledge sharing and to devise appropriate training for senior management and recruiters, as well as opportunities for disabled talent, over the coming months,” said Abigail Addison, ScreenSkills’ Animation Production liaison executive.

In collaboration with Manchester Animation Festival and the Visible in Visuals (ViV) network, Screenskills’ head of research Dr Caterina Branzanti and senior researcher Dr Jack Cortvriend performed research for Accessibility in Animation.

Disabled animation staff express worries about discrimination

It was commissioned by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council and funded by the BFI’s Future Film Skills project using National Lottery money.

The “dire state” of working conditions at studios for handicapped performers was highlighted in a recent analysis by Jack Thorne’s pressure group Underlying Health Condition, which found that none of them were able to make the whole complex totally accessible.

Watch: Disability Discrimination


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