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Disabled access in sporting venues to be surveyed by government

23rd January 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The government is currently conducting a survey, which asks disabled sports fans to comment on the accessibility of stadiums and sports grounds that they have previously visited. This is in order to prompt improvements to the current state of sports venues, which do not cater well enough for the current needs of disabled visitors who rely on wheelchairs or stairlifts.

A proportion of the 12 million disabled people in the UK will be asked to rate facilities such as parking, wheelchair access, stairlifts, toilets and treatment received from staff. Fans of all kinds of sports are being surveyed, such as cricket, hockey and motor racing, although in 2014 it was highlighted that football fans are the most poorly catered for.

Football stadiums need the most improvement

Information uncovered in previous research showed that almost 50 per cent of Premier League football clubs are unable to cope with the demand for fans that need wheelchair space, although some clubs such as Arsenal are beginning to make improvements, who installed a Changing Places toilet at the Emirates Stadium earlier this year. These findings also support the claims made by the Level Playing Field charity, which suggest that there are only a small number of season tickets available for disabled people, which are often excluded from online ticket services.

Following the Commonwealth Games in the summer, which proved just how successful live sporting events could be, both the charity and government hope to make sure that stadiums and sports grounds step up and deliver for disabled visitors in the near future. Currently, those attending sporting events may be experiencing poorer conditions than if they were to watch the game from their rise and recline chairs at home.

Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, stated that 1 in 5 people in the UK have an impairment, and those with disabilities have a spending power of over £200 billion, which is a huge market that simply shouldn’t be and cannot be ignored.

Those wishing to take the survey can do so here.

Image Credit: Kieran Lynam (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.