CBC today announced the second round of AccessCBC: A CBC Initiative for Creators with a Disability, a national program for Deaf and disabled creators that will provide pre-development training, mentorship and financing support through three programming streams – scripted comedy/ drama, unscripted and kids. For the second iteration of AccessCBC, CBC is collaborating with the Disability Screen Office (DSO), a national not-for-profit organization that works with the Canadian screen industry to eliminate accessibility barriers and foster authentic and meaningful disability representation throughout the sector. Detailed information about the program is available on the AccessCBC site, with submissions for the scripted and kids streams open now through Friday, March 15 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
“When we launched the AccessCBC pilot program two years ago, we were struck by the breadth and calibre of talent that we encountered from across Deaf and disability communities. Building on that initial success, the second round of AccessCBC allows us to further connect with and encourage new creative voices,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “Working with the Disability Screen Office, this groundbreaking program will continue to offer professional development and networking opportunities to help emerging creators overcome barriers and cultivate careers behind the camera.”
“Empowering voices and breaking barriers, the Disability Screen Office proudly collaborates with CBC in the AccessCBC program,” said Winnie Luk, Executive Director, Disability Screen Office. “AccessCBC offers a platform for new and diverse voices in scripted comedy/drama, unscripted, and kids’ programming streams. Together, we believe in breaking down barriers and opening pathways for Deaf and disabled creators. Join us in reshaping the narrative and fostering genuine disability representation in the Canadian screen industry.”
The latest iteration of AccessCBC offers two streams open for submissions: scripted comedy/drama and kids. The scripted stream will provide an opportunity for up to four selected teams who are looking to develop a drama or comedy series, each consisting of at least one producer and one writer who are Deaf and/or have a disability, to participate in a pre-development training phase and mentorship. CBC executives will work closely with the creative teams and provide coaching and feedback on their concepts, ensuring they leave with practical experience as well as a polished pitch document.
New for the second year of AccessCBC, the kids stream will be offering up to five selected individual participants or teams (consisting of at least one producer and one writer who are Deaf and/or have a disability) a similar pre-development training phase and mentorship. The specific focus will be on short-form series, 11 minutes and under, either animated or live-action, for kids ages 4-6 or, secondarily, 6-10 years old, and across all genres, including arts and crafts, science and sports.
The approach for the unscripted stream in the second year of AccessCBC will focus on the CBC Creator Network and provide opportunities for Deaf and/or disabled creators who are currently working with CBC as part of it, to produce short digital content. They will work closely with a CBC producer who will mentor and guide them through the production process.
Submissions are open to producers and writers who self-identify as having a disability and are not employed by CBC. For both the scripted and kids streams, eligible teams must include a producer who has experience working in their field with at least two credits as producer, director, or writer of screen-based content (for the kids stream, individual applicants do not need to be a producer with past credits). For eligibility purposes, AccessCBC will follow the Accessible Canada Act’s definition of a disability: any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.
Visit the AccessCBC site for submission details and more information.