Northern Ireland’s main disability sports organisation, Disability Sport NI today launched best practice design and management guidelines, which the organisation hopes will result in sports stadia being more inclusive of people with disabilities.
The guidance entitled ‘Access to Sports Stadia for People With Disabilities: Design & Management Guidelines’ was developed by the Inclusive Stadia Advisory Group (ISAG) a forum of key disability groups in Northern Ireland, including Disability Sport NI, Disability Action, RNIB, Guide Dogs, Action on Hearing Loss and Mencap. The guidelines have also been fully endorsed by Sport Northern Ireland.
‘The guidelines provide an essential best practice guide for stadia operators and their design teams which if applied will improve the design and management of stadia so that they better meet the needs of disabled spectators,’ explained Barry Macaulay of RNIB, who chaired the ISAG group.
‘Many of the recommendations of the guide have already been implemented at the Kingspan Stadium, and I would call on the Irish Football Association and the Ulster Council of the GAA to fully embrace the guidelines as they complete the redevelopment of their major stadia’, continued Mr Macaulay.
‘We know from experience that provision for people with disabilities at the vast majority of stadia in Northern Ireland is very limited and that all too often spectators with disabilities attending sporting events have a very poor experience. The guidelines therefore present an ideal opportunity to stadia operators to ensure that people with disabilities will have a quality spectator experience, increasing over time the number of people with disabilities attending sporting events’, added Kevin O’Neill, CEO of Disability Sport NI.
The new guidelines document is available as a Word and PDF download from the Disability Sport NI website: www.dsni.co.uk.