Making the Game Accessible For All

Redefining Accessibility in Football Stadiums

Premier League football clubs have fallen under fire from the BBC. Earlier this week an article titled Premier League Clubs ‘failing disabled fans’ highlights some of the major annoyances held by disabled fans over high ticket prices and inadequate seating. Although this article hits upon some major concerns of physically disabled fans, it fails to acknowledge the needs/concerns of the wider disabled community. What most people don’t know is, less than 8% of disabled people use wheelchairs.

So what other kinds of disabilities are there?

Under the Equality Act of 2010, a person is disabled “if a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.”

According to statistics from MPH Group, currently 11 million disabled persons live in the U.K., or to put in another perspective 1 out of 5 inhabitants are affected by a disability.
Did you know?

  • People with disabilities have a combined spending power of £80 billion (ODI)
  • 1.87 million people are affected daily by visual impairments
  • 10 million people have some form of hearing impairment or deafness
  • 3.7 million of those between the ages of 16-64; 58,000 people with learning disabilities are supported by daily care services
  • 1 in 6 people have a reading level below an 11 year old (BBC)

These figures represent a large proportion of football fans with disabilities who may need, at a basic level, a little more information to help make informed decisions such as accessibility of transportation, facilities, available services and seating.

Premier League clubs’ such as Tottenham Hotspur are doing more to foster an inclusive experience for all fans, including away fan experience, and fans that are disabled or non-disabled. Tottenham Hotspurs F.C.
improved their grassroots participation with PhotoRoute, an inclusive, picture-based way-finding service that offers step-free access as well. Applications like PhotoRoute enable all civilians to navigate quickly with “sat nav and geo located images together with photos, arrows and written directions.” Tottenham is taking the initiative to implement this software onto their website as soon as this September.