Disabled Sports Fans' Views Sought
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Daily Mail (United Kingdom) (12/25/14)
The U.K. government is asking handicapped sports fans to participate in a major survey seeking to detail their experiences as spectators, following an earlier poll implying that up to half of Premier League football clubs are operating "discriminatory" season ticket practices. "We encourage all sports fans with a disability to tell us of their experiences at sporting venues, so we can get a clear picture of whether disabled sports fans are being treated fairly," says Minister for disabled people Mark Harper. Research by the Level Playing Field charity found "disproportionately small" numbers of Premier League season tickets go to wheelchair users, while some clubs have complicated pre-registration schemes for disabled fans that other season ticket applicants are exempt from. In addition, some clubs bar the disabled from using online ticketing services. The new survey wants views on everything from wheelchair access and disabled parking to accessible toilets, hearing loops, and treatment by other supporters at live sporting venues, with special emphasis on rugby, cricket, football, hockey, basketball, cycling, and motor-racing fans. Earlier in 2014, the government urged Britain's football leagues to expediently resolve the "woeful" lack of appropriate support and space for disabled spectators, reminding them of their legal mandate to provide sufficient room and adjustments for such fans.
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