The session was coordinated by Arsenal DSA Chair, Anthony Joy and Arsenal Disability Access Officer (DAO), Alun Francis. There were members of staff from across the supporters’ services team along with committee members from the DSA.
The objective of the session was to discuss a joint strategy (Fan and Club), that would improve the matchday experience for disabled fans, along with support the club in making positive changes and improving services over the coming seasons.
Discussions between DSA members, Club Staff and LPF were focused on developing a proactive strategy, which would allow a clear line of sight into what was going to make a positive impact and continue to raise the matchday experience for disabled fans.
Discussions around a pan disability perspective were had ensuring that this strategy was as inclusive as it could be, considering all disabilities. The strategy would focus on improvements to physical/environmental infrastructure, organisational processes and attitudes across the club, stadia and fans. With the end product to make the matchday experience as inclusive as possible.
Anthony Joy, Arsenal DSA Chair said: “The day was extremely productive, and gives both the club and the DSA, a solid foundation to focus on the areas which will make visiting ‘The Arsenal’ a more inclusive experience. The club already provide a range of excellent accessible facilities and we enjoy a very strong relationship with them. Through this strategy we hope to make continuous improvements to the quality of access at the Emirates, but also to fans services and processes that will cut across and benefit all with disabilities. It gives us an opportunity to jointly do something no other club has done. I’m delighted that Level Playing Field have agreed to support us as a delivery partner. It also was a great way to kick off our support for the Weeks of Action!”
Owain Davies, LPF Chief Executive said: “Working with the Clubs and the DSA on a proactive project such as this is a real positive statement. The DSA have a strong relationship with Club and vice versa. Having a co-developed strategy is very innovative and lends wait to the adage “Decisions for disabled people being made by disabled people””, he went on to say “The end product will allow a continued progression and improvement of matchday experience for disabled fans.”
The next phase of the ‘Arsenal Access Strategy’, is to consult with the wider fan base through questionnaires, meetings and interviews, with a rough time line of having a working draft of the strategy completed by the end of this season (2018/19).
During this #WeeksOfAction LPF are seeing clubs, DSAs and fans doing a range of innovative activities to drive the message of access and inclusion. This strategy will not only drive the message of greater access and inclusion but provide changes and improvements towards this. If you would like more information on other #WeeksOf Action activities taking place, visit our news story section on our website by clicking here.