We’re honoured to be asked to present at Barclays Premier League’s inaugural Open for Business event with Tottenham Hotspur FC and Foundation.
The event showcased practical examples of what works well alongside representatives from proactive clubs, Barclays banking group and inclusion representatives from the Premier League, with the hope of creating a template to be used to influence clubs across the Premier League, and to drive Barclays ambition to become the UK’s most accessible bank.
We’re also aware of other grassroots initiatives following a similar vein of wanting to embrace inclusive design approaches to improve match day experience and empower disabled supporters at a local level.
Premier League integrity challenged in the news
This month the Premier League secured a record broadcasting deal of £5.136 billion, a massive sum set to be bigger still once international rights are sold again, the Guardian posted that “the Premier League can’t be relied on to alter inequality that defines our age, the huge TV rights deal has only highlighted the massive disparities within football and society as a whole but the government or the game must find a way for the millions to be shared around”.
Level Playing Fields
“The Premier League has pledged to reinvest income across the game including the delivery of ‘world class stadiums’. Yet conditions for disabled fans at many PL clubs remain woefully poor according to a BBC report last year.
Level Playing Field (LPF) is calling on the Premier League not to forget its disabled fans when distributing this new revenue and to ring fence just 1% of this new TV funding for 2016/17 to ensure that all professional clubs in the Premier and Football Leagues spend the money on improving access for disabled people #justdoit.”
Barclays Open for Business
Grant Cornwall, CEO Tottenham Hotspur Foundation welcomed guests to White Hart Lane followed by a keynote speech from Elaine Draper, Barclays Head of Access. Elaine passionately spoke about the opportunity of getting services right for people with disabilities to improve customer satisfaction for all customers while future proofing services for our ageing populations.
Chris from Manchester United FC bravely volunteered to wear Barclays simulation suit, the 20kg outfit strains key areas of the body using weighted padding to mimic physical restrictions such as head mobility, joint stiffness, loss of strength, reduced grip and coordination. Ear defenders and a range of goggles and safety glasses also copy impairments such as opacity of the eye lens, a narrowed field of vision and high-frequency hearing loss.
Charles Nelson, Barnet and Southgate Centre of Excellence kicked presentations off, providing an overview of barriers faced by students with high communication support needs followed by Alick from Enabled City presenting inclusive design and “getting information right for people with learning disabilities means your service will be inclusive of the widest possible audience including people at the UK’s national reading literacy (educated 11 year old, BBC)”.
Gareth Jones, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation shared Sports M.A.T.E. (Mentoring, Access, Training, Equality). The project operates within mainstream sports clubs (i.e. not disability specific) to support young people with disabilities to participate in mainstream sport clubs/opportunities through provision of personalised mentoring and a referral scheme.
Transport is not provided, individuals need to get themselves to where club sessions are located, Gareth introduced PhotoRoute as a means to support more people onto the program. The Sports M.A.T.E project is now being rolled out nationally.
Barclays Access – serious about customer service
Kathryn Townsend, Strategic Transformation Leader for Accessibility presented Barclays new iBeacon service, Barclays Access. The iPhone app notifies staff of a customers access preference before they enter the building, front desk staff receive an alert via an iPad along with the customers picture for easy identification and their service preferences – all before the customer enters the branch ie. I’m hard of hearing in my right ear, stand on my left side when speaking to me.
Nice work Barclays.
Follow this link for more information on iBeacon.
What is the Premier League?
The Premier League is the organising body of the Barclays Premier League with responsibility for the competition, its Rule Book and commercial rights. It’s a private company wholly owned by its 20 Premier League Clubs who make up the League at any one time. Each club works within the rules of football, as defined by the Premier League, The FA, Uefa and Fifa as well being subject to English and European law.
The Law – Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act covers everyone, how many characteristics do you have?
- Age, argh yes I have an age.
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and Civil partnership, hmm, yes I’m married.
- Pregnancy and Maternity, yes we have children.
- Race, unhuh the human race.
- Religion and belief, well doesn’t everyone even if they’re an atheist?
- Gender, this is getting very easy..
- Sexual Orientation, ok, you win, I have well over half the characteristics covered by the Equality Act.
*A protected characteristic is something about you that may make you subject to discrimination because of that characteristic
Equality Act – Service providers
Anticipatory Duty – service providers must be proactive in considering how their services create problems for disabled people and consider reasonable remedial action.
Continuing Duty – monitor and review in the light of experience.
Evolving Duty – not to be considered once and then forgotten.
A disabled person
Someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (though many older people do not consider themselves disabled this definition makes it clear that they do meet the description above).