Manchester City supported our Weeks of Action campaign this year during their fixture vs West Ham in February.
The City team decided to use their designated fixture to shine a light on a vital accessible feature at the Etihad stadium – audio descriptive commentary.
The club has been offering the service to visually impaired fans for over 20 years, and with the stadium being empty for the last 12 months, it has become more critical than ever.
Since the end of the 2019/20 season, Man City have bolstered their matchday experience that has left a hole for so many supporters, by making their ADC available to supporters at home.
City have confirmed their ADC services will be available for both home and away fans and, moving forward, will also be available for women first-team home matches.
Andrew Nelson and Paul Raffo, two lifelong Cityzens, make up two of a team of six that run the show on matchday. The duo take to the airwaves a quarter of an hour prior to kick-off, sharing out commentary duties across the game before a half-time Q & A session and post-match debrief.
Andrew understands how crucial ADC has become in the current climate: “There’s a lot of work that’s gone on behind the scenes to make this happen, but we are privileged to sit in a stadium.
“It’s like our voices are their eyes effectively, so we try to describe the action and atmosphere as accurately as possible.”
In agreement, Paul explains the genuine connection the ADC team have on the regular matchday listeners: “Prior to lockdown we’d get around the stadium and make contact with all our supporters.
“We know them personally and that makes it even more special when we’re sat there feeding the game back to our fans.”
One City fan, Stuart, who has followed the Blues for years, came across ADC as his sight began to deteriorate, and has been a huge factor in his accessible matchday experience ever since: “It made a massive difference because had that not been there, I don’t think I would’ve come back.
“The commentary has made the difference… (I’m now) in the Colin Bell stand and listen to them at every game .”
Clubs across the country have had to adapt to life without live sport in an attempt to keep their supporters engaged whilst games are played behind closed doors. The ADC team at City have introduced a question and answer feature for fans to enjoy.
Supporters can chat about the team and share their predictions before kick-off as well as their thoughts on the game as the action unfolds, with Andrew and Paul reading out their comments across the broadcast.
Stuart says: “It is a great thing to be able to chip in.
“There’s a lot of people relying upon this service and it’s great that the club itself see it as important.”
For further information on audio descriptive commentary at Man City or if you have any other access requirements please contact the Access Team on 0161 444 1894 (Option1,2,2) or email firstname.lastname@example.org