Disability Inclusion and Etiquette Training
This is a bespoke, competitively priced training package aimed at increasing awareness including looking at different models of disability (Social v Medical), current equality legislation, the barriers disabled people face, disability etiquette and practical advice and guidance on how to engage with disabled people. The training can be tailored to the needs of an organization and its personnel both in terms of the content and the duration of the session.
We offer a professional mediation service for clubs, individuals and fan groups to help resolve issues affecting disabled supporters. We mediate on numerous access issues such as ticketing policies, transport issues, availability and quality of accessible seating, sightlines and the provision of accessible amenities and services. We offer this service to all sports and complaints are dealt with by an expert in-house Access and Development Team that includes professional National Register Access Consultants (NRAC) and Auditors. Complaints may be anonymous, if the complainant does not wish to be identified, or resolved by more direct mediation.
We offer professional access audits which are undertaken by NRAC auditors specialising in sporting venues and live match and event services. LPF Access Audits are comprehensive as they look at all areas of the fan experience not just the built environment. This includes a match day assessment, talking to key personnel, looking at the clubs’ policies and procedures, in-house access and inclusion training, on-going support and access advice. The service includes a detailed Access Audit Report and Action Plan which is designed to help the club/venue identify areas for further development and improvement in the future. An Access Audit is the first step in helping organisations to meet the requirements of the Equality Act (2010). It will demonstrate a commitment to improving access for disabled people and if used properly, should help to increase custom, turnover, to enhance reputation and could also help to mitigate clubs against claims of disability discrimination.
Design Appraisal Service
We offer expert advice and guidance to clubs and venues looking to make stadium improvements and/or to build new sports venues. This service involves appraising architectural designs and offering ongoing support and advice. We are able to talk through potential accessibility issues to ensure design plans incorporate the needs of disabled supporters. We work closely with the Football Foundation on all Football Stadium Improvement Fund (FSIF) applications and appraise the accessibility of the designs before the application is approved and the funding is released.
For more information on our range of services please do not hesitate to contact one of the LPF Team.
Mediating and expert advice and guidance
Day-to-day operations and projects are delivered by a small team of staff and consultants who collectively provide ongoing support to our members and stakeholders. We provide independent expert advice on all matters related to accessible sporting venues and to inclusive match and event day experiences for disabled fans.
Level Playing Field currently handles around 400 complaints per year from disabled fans. As the numbers of disabled people continue to rise, and their expectations quite rightly increase too, we expect this number to increase unless measures are put in place across all sports to ensure more inclusive facilities and services.
LPF recognises that some sports clubs are making improvements for their disabled fans and we are keen to work with them to offer support and advice when changes are made to policies, procedures and the physical environment. We have many examples of achievable good design solutions for existing and new stadia as well as no cost and low cost suggestions to becoming more accessible.
New stadia, along with any other public buildings, should of course be designed to be inclusive with at least the minimum of legislative requirements in place. We are therefore disappointed when stadium design teams do not meet these minimum requirements as we expect all professional sporting venues to deliver a fully inclusive spectator experience. It is our view that all sports venue building projects should appoint a professional access consultant with sports stadia experience to oversee and advise throughout the whole project.
Evidence shows that some of the best progress happens where there is a proactive pan-disability, user-led Disabled Supporters Association (DSA). Having an independent democratic group of disabled fans, with a good working dialogue with their club, helps to raise awareness and to ensure that accessibility is on the agenda.
Our ‘Working Together Project’ has received funding (from the Fans Fund) for a further two years (to October 2017). This project aims to help set up more Disabled Supporters Associations.
We work closely with sports governing bodies and Government and the leagues and clubs themselves to ensure we remain the “go to” organisation for advice regarding disabled supporters.