Current Accessible Stadia Guidelines
Recommended Enhancements for discussion – Changes indicated by Italics
Home and Away ASG Calculations
Where Stadiums segregate home and away fans, the calculations below are to be applied to ensure that the guideline requirements are achieved for each set of spectators i.e. compliance to be achieved as if each sector represented a standalone stadium.
The calculation below (Table 4) must be applied to each of these disabled categories:
1) Wheelchair positions
2) Amenity or easy access seating
Where occasional variations to segregation delineation occurs, (e.g. FA Cup games) stadiums should consider incorporating flexible or convertible wheelchair/ambulant seating areas to ensure continued compliance.
The maximum limit pitch side is 25% the remaining 75% must be elevated. This requirement applies for both wheelchair positions and ambulant spectators and proportionate between home and away supporters.
Query re all sports stadia – How should distributions be handled in continuous bowl stadia?
Currently, Rule 9 of Section R requires that 10% of the accessible spaces in the stadium must be allocated to visiting disabled supporters.
Comment : - Ambulant Disabled – There is a current lack of focus on their needs!
This is the fastest growing disabled sector given the aging population!
Accessible Stadia Guidelines 2003 - Extract –
The number of older people in the population is increasing and many of them will have a disability of some kind.
Over the next 30 years (stated in 2003)
The proportion of the population over 65 will increase by 40%
The number of people over 65 will double
The proportion over 80 will increase by 100% and will treble.
There is a correlation between age and disability. Over half the population over 75 has some kind of disability.
Accessible Stadia Guidelines - Northern Ireland 2016 Extract -
“The majority of people with disabilities are ambulant disable people”.
Premier League 2018 - Ticketing and Matchday Guidance – Extract
“The ASG states that ‘in addition to the provision of wheelchair user accommodation all stadia should provide an equitable number of amenity and easy access seats for spectators who may require more space.’ The ASG suggests various criteria to consider in relation to amenity seating, such as access routes, the provision of arm and backrests, sightlines and additional legroom. It doesn’t contain an agreed definition for enhanced amenity seating or easy access seating and no design criteria or exact measures for seat location or distribution are included”.
There is no specification for “Extra legroom”
i) As disabled spectators may be unable to stand easily or change position comfortably, sufficient row depth should be provided to enable other spectators to move past the seated disabled spectator without the need to stand and be disturbed.
Recommended row depth to be 1,000mm. See diagram below.
ii) Because ambulant spectators are not always able to stand up, the seats allocated to them and that of their companion, must be located and designed in such a way that if spectators or other personnel, in front of or on either side, stand up or walk in front of them the sightlines will not be obstructed.
To be included as a qualifying ambulant seat for calculating the minimum requirement under Table 4 of the Accessible Stadia Guidelines, the requirements of both i) and ii) must be satisfied.
Where an ambulant disabled supporter has provided evidence of their disability and confirmed that they require the support of a PA, provision should be made for the PA to be seated alongside.
Recommended dimensions to facilitate the non-disturbance of ambulant spectators – seat depth 400mm – distance from seat edge to forward barrier 600mm. A minimum of 75% ** of ambulant seating must meet this specification.
** A minimum of 75% - 100%?
**Should amenity seating and easy access seating be classified as one type of seating or do each require a separate specification?
Both issues for discussion
An Accessible Stadia Guideline qualifying “elevated” position is characterised by the raising of the disabled spectator to a height where their view is unobstructed.
Comment: A clear definition of what constitutes “elevated” is needed.
Pitch side positions must be elevated where views are unobstructed. It is not acceptable to view between gaps in hoardings.
Passing movement in front of these positions should be minimised.
Where it is not practical to prevent frequent passage or stadium personnel stationed in front of these spectators, a walkway behind these seats should be considered with the added benefit of offering enhanced security against crowd surge and incursion into the disabled area.
It is important to consider that ambulant disabled people may often prefer to sit within the general seating areas rather than in designated accessible viewing areas. Therefore it is important to provide and identify areas in stadia which have level access and/or minimal steps, and are designed in accordance with the Recommended Standards, including at the end of rows and/or close to exits.
For matches this will include provisions for both home and away fans.
Handrail provision - Hand or “P” rails to be provided where ever steps are encountered leading to easy access and amenity seating to comply with the recommendations 8.10 - Handrails for stairway and ramps.
40m of accessible toilets
There should be an accessible toilet within 40m of any wheelchair position and amenity or easy access seating, with one accessible toilet provided for every 15 disabled spectator seats.
Comment - “It is not always straightforward to reach an accessible toilet. For consideration: A toilet could be within 4 metres but up and down ramps and through crowded concourses. Should this be considered on individual cases and/or as a timed route rather than distance (40m) ?”
In addition to the minimum distance to an accessible toilet, the route to that toilet must also be considered, i.e. a route through a congested concourse may be a greater issue than a distance exceeding 40m, as might passage through an area of opposing supporters.
Hospitality – Disabled positions and Table 4.
The existing Accessible Stadia Guideline states :-
“All areas of the stadium, including the VIP and directors’ boxes and corporate and hospitality suites, should be accessible to disabled people, along with any adjoining facilities and amenities. As such, inclusive design principles should be used in these areas and improvements should be made where required to ensure equal access. Wheelchair user spaces and amenity and easy access seating located in hospitality areas should not be included in the quota for general seating areas but should be provided additionally.”
No change recommended
Protection outlined for disabled areas -
Green Guide – Section 3.25 – Accommodating visiting spectators
At all grounds there is a likelihood that spectators who are unfamiliar with the ground will be in attendance, particularly at special events. However, at grounds where supporters of visiting clubs attend, it is recommended that advance planning takes place between the ground management, the visiting clubs and/or their supporters’ groups, and the police, to ensure that visiting supporters, including those who are disabled or at risk, are :-
a) Directed and welcomed to the ground
b) Directed to the appropriate entrances
c) Accommodated safely
d) Always kept clearly informed of any special arrangements made for them inside the ground and on their departure.
All wheelchair and ambulant supporters, where ever situated in the ground, must have protection provided to prevent incursion, casually and/or by crowd surge, into the disabled areas. This could take the form of barriers and gangway gating together with robust stewarding.
See UEAF illustrations below.
Lift requirements - wheelchair specifications – powered weight size
Gain up to date information from manufacturers
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans required
Stewarding – continuity and identification emphasised
UEFA extract :-
Inclusive seating plans
It is now considered good practice and a basic principle of inclusive design that disabled people have access to any storey of a new non-domestic building. in football, this means that disabled spectators should be given a choice of inclusive viewing areas in all ticket categories and should have access to facilities throughout the stadium. Where full access is limited, for example by physical barriers for wheelchair users, a choice of alternative areas should be provided throughout the stadium, and not just at pitchside. disabled spectators should not be limited to exclusive disabled seating areas but be given the opportunity to sit with supporters of their own team.
Not all disabled spectators require amenity seating or wheelchair-user viewing areas. it is therefore important to ensure an appropriate level of standard easy-access seating is available throughout the stadium, taking into account the number of disabled people overall and the increasing demand for accessible and inclusive facilities.
UEAF barrier illustrations –
Additional information and guidance –
Sensory Room (also sensory packages?)
SENSORY ROOM NOTES -
• Accessible by lift
• Distance from entry point in stadium to sensory room kept to a minimum
• Clean accessible toilets nearby
• Toilet facilities for parent/carer also in close proximity
• Double handle on the door- one normal height, the other higher in case a child tries to leave the room unsupervised
• Coat hooks - keep coats away from floors and equipment
• Unrestricted view of the match - nothing to irritate and simply able to watch the match without obstruction
• Comfortable, soft seats and bean bags for seating in matchday viewing area
• A tinted or one-way window out into the main bowl of the stadium, thus giving those fans who may enjoy flapping or have unusual mannerisms that may attract attention, privacy, and avoids unwanted attention from fans in the main bowl of the stadium.
• Separate ‘Chill out’ area, with the idea that if a child becomes stressed/unhappy, they have facilities available to them in which to calm down and relax, before returning to watch the match.
• Bubble tubes and other Sensory features to be included in chill out area
• Lighting to be dimmed with diffusers/uplighters and controlled with dimmer switches
• Walls to be painted in neutral colours
• Crowd noise to be piped into the room, with the ability to control volume
• TV to be visible from the chill out area
• The amount of seating space given to an individual with sensory needs must be greater than for a neurotypical person.
• Room for 18 people (6 children plus parent/teacher/sibling who qualify as personal assistants)
• PECS board (Picture Exchange Communication System) football based- for non-verbal children
• Bubble Tube with padded matting
• TV showing live match, with remote control - if ‘chill’ time is needed
• Ceiling light with the ability to switch it off in the room- calming
• A ceiling projector to display lighting/club badge etc on wall of room
• Harry The Hornet toys
• Don’t overdo the sensory features. We are not wanting to create a crèche. The fans with sensory needs are there firstly to watch the match.
People and Policies
• Trained staff in the room who are understanding of hidden disabilities such as Autism
• For purchase of tickets for the sensory room, request proof of disability eg official paperwork stating an individuals’ official diagnosis from a consultant /doctor to ensure that the seats in the room go to those who need it.
• Tickets/seats to be provided in threes – the attendee, plus 2 parent/sibling, all of whom will qualify as personal assistants.
• Demand from supporters either currently attending and not bringing children, or not attending at all, to be monitored and accommodated.
• Adjacent seats in SEJ Stand can be used by room attendees during their visit
• Social story provided to attendees before matchday
• If required, midweek visit before matches for all attendees, to familiarise with stadium entry
• Families encourage to spend time outside room to become more confident/relaxed in surroundings