The previous edition was published in 2008 and there have been a number of changes in legislation and best practice in the past ten years. The sixth edition ensures all references to British Standards, Building Regulations and other advisory documents have been updated.
Level Playing Field provided input to the Guide during the consultation stages and we are pleased to see an increased number of references to disabled spectators. This edition includes an index to “Accessibility”.
The Green Guide is a safety document and there are occasions where disabled spectators and staff may require additional support and facilities, particularly around Emergency and Exceptional Egress and there is a whole section on this topic including guidance on Refuge Areas.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester Vice President of Level Playing Field was speaking at the launch of the ‘Green Guide and he said,
“The majority of football spectators who attend matches are unaware of the outstanding work of the SGSA behind the scenes to help ensure that their experience is safe, comfortable and secure, and the SGSA works hard to ensure that this experience should be available to all spectators, regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, disability or, indeed, the team that they support.”
Speaking of access for disabled fans Lord Faulkner went on to say;
“When talking about disability, ladies and gentlemen. I am proud to declare that I am a vice-president of the wonderful charity “Level Playing Field”, and on a mission to ensure that all football clubs do their duty by their disabled supporters. I hope that we shall be able to work with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to ensure that this comes about. In the 21st century there can be no excuses for clubs which fail to carry out their responsibilities under the equalities legislation.”
At the launch Level Playing Field’s Chief Executive, Owain Davies was in attendance and he said;
‘The work that the SGSA does to maintain the standards of safety has to be commended. The launch of this new guide further provides more information on supporting disabled fans in a safety context and we look forward to continuing our support with the SGSA to further drive greater standards for disabled fans”.
Level Playing Field has always campaigned for an increase in disability awareness training for stewards and frontline staff. We are pleased to see that this is a Green Guide recommendation along with providing specialist disability stewards.
Recognition is also made of the need to present visual information in a form that should not be misunderstood by people with a colour deficiency or colour blindness.
The Guide is available from the Sports Ground Safety Authority website as a hard or digital version. Click here to link to SGSA website.