An open letter to Deaf TV programme makers from the BSLBT Board

Posted on 7th July 2021

Thank you for raising issues of concern.  We are looking into these as quickly as we can; we do also need time to reflect and to gather more information. 

At our last Board meeting, in June 2021, we discussed:

  • Deaf leadership of BSLBT.
  • How the current BSL Zone slot at 8am on Film 4 is a barrier to more adult programmes being developed and shown.
  • How we can support even more Deaf professionals in the TV industry with training, skills development and career progression.
  • More research and better engagement with the Deaf community.

We are committed to making changes.  In the next few months, we will:

  • Discuss the 8am TV slot and its issues with Ofcom and the TV companies that fund BSLBT.  
  • Start our audience research project.  
  • Continue to develop our relationship with the Deaf community.
  • Continue to discuss the issues with Deaf TV professionals and companies.

During the Covid crisis, the BSLBT Board's meetings have had to be on Zoom.   This has been a challenge and slowed down some of our work, but we will get there.   Our next Board meeting is in September; hopefully in person.   We will draw up plans for the future, including for the Chief Executive role (our current CEO is approaching retirement) – we will of course make sure the process is fully inclusive to Deaf applicants.

In the meantime, our Executive Producers Cathy Heffernan and Julian Peedle-Calloo would love to hear from people who are interested in making programmes for BSLBT.  If you’re new to TV production and want to find out more about careers in TV, get in touch with them and they will be happy to advise you.  Or, if you’re already working in TV but aren’t sure what to do next, or want to clarify how things work at BSLBT, get in touch.

We will keep you informed of how we are getting on – updates will go on our website.


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