Press Reset to end ableism

The second Press Reset campaign tackles the damaging impacts of ableism, and urgently calls for the screen sector to change how it engages with disabled talent behind and in front of the camera. 

The Press Reset film offers powerful testimony from disabled creatives about ableism, the different forms it takes and its oppressive impacts, aiming to inspire decision makers in film and television to recognise, tackle and prevent ableism.

What is ableism?

Ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. It leads to the creation of discriminatory barriers (physical or otherwise), which mean disabled people are unable to operate equally in the world. In the screen industries, this spans issues around access – be that sets, cinemas or makeup trailers – through to harmful and offensive depictions of disability on screen, and the general and persistent perception that working with disabled talent is difficult and expensive.

What can you do?

To recognise, tackle and prevent ableism, here are clear and practical ways to “Reset” your practices.

Organisations that can support this work can be found on our resources page.

Recruit responsibly

There is an abundance of great talent within the industry and therefore it’s best practice to avoid “cripping up”.

Engage with the D/deaf and disabled and inclusive arts community

Nothing about us without us.

Set targets

D/deaf and disabled talent targets can be set on and off screen, while paid job opportunities can be offered to help achieve them.

Equal pay

Commit to equal pay so that D/deaf and disabled talent are not expected to give their time or advice for free.

Think about access

Access improvements usually have wider benefits and not all of them cost money. Start by making yourself accessible to D/deaf and disabled artists.

Be an ally and an advocate

Meet new D/deaf and disabled people, connect and amplify talent, create connections and challenge if you feel something is missing or lacking.


Please contact jennifer.smith@bfi.org.uk if you would like your organisation to be included within our resources.

The campaign was launched on the eve of the International Day of Disability 2021 by the BFI, together with its Disability Screen Advisory Group.

More about Press Reset

The BFI’s Disability Screen Advisory Group is made up of a diverse range of disabled film and television professionals.

The Press Reset campaign was the result of a conversation at one of the group’s meetings discussing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

This led to the aim of the campaign: to inspire authority figures in film and TV to reset practices involving Disabled people and establish a new, more inclusive normal.