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Fully understanding inclusion is not always as straight forward as it sounds, after researching the subject with clubs and fans, the EFL found some football clubs can be frightened of making mistakes when it comes to accessibility and inclusion...
“The best way to bring about an improvement in any service is to examine it through the eyes of the people who use it.”
Are the words written by Shaun Harvey (Chief Executive EFL) in the foreword to their new ‘Accessible Supporter Guide’ He continues…
“Our clubs have achieved fantastic results in recent years with different types of supporters; simply by learning that everyone isn’t the same and then making adjustments to account for different needs so that everyone has the best possible experience. “
The fear of not getting it right can lead to inaction. Following the findings of the research the EFL appointed us to work with them to design and illustrate their new 'Accessible Supporters Guide'. aimed at the 72 EFL clubs across the UK.
The Accessible Supporter Guide takes a holistic approach to understanding the potential issues disabled supporters may face when attending a match.
Joyce Cook, OBE, FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer, and leading voice in equality and inclusion writes,
“Ultimately it’s about the mindset clubs adopt when serving disabled fans. For example, do our practices and processes reinforce out-dated stereotypes? Or do we have the knowledge, the encouragement and the confidence to display understanding and sensitivity to all disabled fans, including those who may have ‘hidden’ disabilities?”
She urges clubs not to only think about accessibility, which is important but the experience as a whole for a disabled supporter by, picking up on the ideas in the booklet, talking to disabled fans and to other clubs.
How We Helped
We worked with the EFL to design and produce the 120-page booklet. It is designed to be an easy to use guide following the supporter journey in the layout of the guide and includes;
- An introduction to understanding disability
- Things to Consider
- Who Are Disabled Supporters
- What the Law Says
- Disability Training
- Mission Statements
- Key Roles
- ‘Did you know?’ facts
- Step by step guide to planning the journey
- Travel & Access
- Arrival at the Stadium
- Purchasing Options
- The Accessible Supporter Guide explores the whole journey from booking a ticket to leaving the stadium all from the viewpoint of disabled supporters. This approach provides key insights, knowledge and confidence for EFL clubs to reach out to disabled supporters.
We designed the booklet taking the same approach we do for all of our projects, we tell the story that wants to be told. By using a mixture of real life situations, illustrations and key facts we are able to keep readers engaged in the content. The carefully planned structure delivers the narrative in a step by step guide, taking the reader on the same journey as a disabled fan. From buying a ticket to leaving the stadium the booklet addresses potential issues a disabled supporter could face at each stage, fromcommunication to access and everything in-between.
The design has been well received by the EFL and others including Head of Sport for the UK Government who tweeted…
It was a pleasure to work with the EFL to produce something so meaningful. We hope that the clubs find it useful and that it helps to promote understanding and inclusion for disabled people.