The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) based in Switzerland has produced a guide entitled Access for all: UEFA and CAFÉ good practice guide to creating an accessible stadium and matchday experience. The 115 page publication has extensive information on what makes good access at football venues, including approaching and leaving the stadium, moving around in the stadium, access to information, access in viewing areas, and amenities, and training in disabilities issues. It also discusses why good access is important, the different models of disability, equality legislation, accessibility auditing and planning.
There are more than 80 million disabled people living in the European Union alone (equivalent to the populations of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, and the Netherlands combined). The UEFA estimates that about 500,000 of these are likely to be active football spectators, a number the charity CAFÉ (Access to Football in Europe) thinks will rise considerably with improved stadium access. In addition, one in four Europeans has a family member with a disability, while 60% know someone who is disabled. This is a big fan base and a big market. In 2009, the UEFA donated its Monaco Charity Award to the National Association for Disabled Supporters (now known as the Level Playing Field) to help establish CAFÉ. CAFÉ was created to “ensure disabled supporters across the UEFA’s 53 member associations can enjoy attending football matches and to make it a problem-free and inclusive experience for all”. CAFÉ cooperated with organisations such as the European Commission Committee for Standardization (CEN) to ensure a pan-Euro approach to building standards and good practice for sports stadiums.
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