As directors, having an Access Coordinator on set is a vital part of your production.
Not only do they support your D/deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent cast and crew, but ensure an overall healthy and productive environment, allowing your work to be the best it can be.
This workshop will explore how you can foster a strong working relationship with Access Coordinators and implement inclusion together at every stage of production, from script development and casting to post-production and marketing. Whether you have previous experience with Access Coordinators or you’ve never worked with one before, there’s lots to learn about this constantly evolving role.
Our online webinar will be facilitated by full-time Access Coordinator Julie Fernandez, executive producer Sara Johnson and director Neil Ben, in association with Bridge06. Bridge06 are an agency committed to sourcing, training, placing and supporting Access Coordinators onto film, television and theatre sets, with the likes of ITV Studios and independent production company Merman recently recruiting dedicated Access Coordinators from jointly run Bridge06 and Screen Skills courses.
How to Register
This webinar will be taking place via Zoom on Thursday 28 September, from 6pm to 7:30pm.
Participants are welcome to submit questions for Julie or Sara in advance - please send these to [email protected] by Thursday 21 September.
To ensure accessibility is our top priority, BSL interpretation will be present for this session.
If you have any questions or access requirements, please contact [email protected].
About Julie Fernandez
Julie Fernandez is a full time Access Coordinator, Campaigner, Actress and Disability Consultant.
Credits from her 30-year acting career include The Office, Eldorado, Holby City and Casualty, and she has made a range of documentaries as well as worked as a presenter alongside being a Disability Consultant. Julie founded The Disability Foundation charity in 1998 and was a foster parent for five years.
Julie has been working full time as an Access Coordinator since April 2022, and has since become the foremost expert in this role across HETV and all genres. Julie and Sara are taking the Access Coordinator training course plus their personal experience of working in an Access Coordinator role to Australia and New Zealand in November 2023, in a new partnership with Screen Australia and the New Zealand Film Commission.
This is part of Julie’s passion and vision to show industries the value of the AC role and the change it brings to workplaces, as well as the joy that it gives her in this new phase of her career.
About Sara Johnson
Following her 25+ year career as a TV Drama Executive in the UK, alongside her life as a parent carer and daughter to a deaf mother, Sara Johnson formalised her longstanding passion as a disability advocate by creating the consultancy Bridge06 in October 2021.
She was the Controller of Drama at Sky and the VP Scripted for Fox Europe & Africa, with the intervening years navigating life as a parent carer alongside her career in management roles in independent and international companies.
Working with Broadcasters, Producers, Streamers, Productions and Talent, Bridge06 is committed to Inclusion and improving representation on and off screen for Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent talent across the media industry. Bridge06 trains and represents Access Coordinators working with partner and co-lead Julie Fernandez, supporting the roll out of the position in the UK, Europe, US and beyond. Bridge06 also co-created and ran the event About Time, sponsored by ITV and Disney and held at BAFTA, to improve the representation of Disabled talent on screen.
Alongside her work with Bridge06, Sara continues to work as an Executive Producer on projects and for companies which align with her mission to make the UK production industry genuinely and sustainably Access First in its approach.
About Neil Ben
Neil Ben is a BBC trained, BAFTA-nominated producer, director and writer, with over 30 years of experience working in television and video production. He has made programmes for many different broadcasters including the BBC, Nickelodeon, Discovery, Amazon Prime, Channel 4, and Channel 5.
After a 10-year break from TV to bring up his children, Neil has returned to the industry he is passionate about, focusing on writing and directing Narrative Comedy/Drama. Neil specialises in working with disabled talent and loves to use comedy to open audiences' eyes to new ways of thinking.
Last year Neil was mentored by Ed Bye on the Directors UK Inspire 2022 programme.
Bridge06 is a company committed to inclusion, joining the work being done to increase disability representation in the Film, Media and Entertainment Industries and beyond. It is run by TV Drama Executive, Parent Carer, CODA and long-time disability advocate Sara Johnson, and full time Access Coordinator, Actor and Disability Consultant Julie Fernandez.
Bridge06 is the only agency in the UK committed to sourcing, training, placing and supporting Access Coordinators on film and theatre sets and in offices around the globe.
Together, Julie and Sara are focused on encouraging an Access First approach and believe strongly that the roll out of the Access Coordinator as a paid and valued position is the entry point towards achieving this.
Bridge06 is committed to working with and alongside disabled-led organisations and individuals, advocacy groups and companies, bringing purpose, intent, commercial savvy and creativity together for long-term sustainable change.