PLYMOUTH ARGYLE FOOTBALL CLUB DISABILITY INFORMATION &POLICY
Below is our disability policy. If you have any questions or wish to discuss any of the policy with us, or have any specific medical requirements,please contact our Disability Liaison Officer (DLO), Steph Barker on firstname.lastname@example.org(Mob 07855489112) or Club Secretary and Head of Equality and Inclusion, Zac Newton,on email@example.com(01752 302208).
Plymouth Argyle Football Club fully supports the principle of equal opportunities and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability. Our aim is to make the match-day experience as enjoyable as possible, and inclusive for all supporters.
EQUALITY ACT (2010)
Disability is one of the nine protected characteristic as defined by the Equality Act (2010). This act ensures that those sections of the population covered by the legislation will not be discriminated against as follows
- direct discrimination - treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
- indirect discrimination - putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
Plymouth Argyle Football Club aim to fully comply with both the spirit and provisions of the Act.
DEFINITION OF A DISABLED SUPPORTER
For the purposes of this policy the definition of a disabled supporter is: "any person who, because of their disability or impairment, is unable to use ordinary stand seating without contravening Health and Safety regulations, guidelines or policy. Any such person will be considered for use of the designated areas of the stadium in line with the procedures set out in this policy."
All ticketing issues are dealt with by the Ticket Office in the first instance- contact the Ticket Office on 01752 907700.
For ticketing issues that fall outside the Club’s set policy, please ask to be put in touch with the DLO or Club Secretary and they will make contact with you.
If you require a carer/assistant to be with you in order to attend matches at Home Park,complimentary carer’s ticketsare available by right to those supporters who are in receipt of the higher level of carer’s or mobility allowance only. However, we are happy to consider requests on a case by case basis from those who don’t meet the strict criteria.Please contact the ticket office for more details. In most cases our DLO will arrange a personal meeting to discuss any specific needs.
Please note that that the issue and use of carer’s tickets is closely monitored and may require annual reapplication. These tickets are issued solely to enable a disabled supporter to attend and enjoy the match, therefore they are not valid and must not be used if the disabled supporter is not in attendance.Any misuse of a carer’s ticket is likely to result in it being withdrawn.
WHEELCHAIR DEPENDENT SUPPORTERS
Stand for Supporters with Disabilities - there are currently nine spaces for wheelchairs located in this stand. These are all currently allocated to season-ticket holders for the 2017-18 season.
Devonport and Lyndhurst Stands - there are a maximum of 80 spaces for wheelchairs which can be can be used by home fans. All spaces are at pitch level. These spaces can be purchased by way of season-ticket or on a match-by-match basis. In order to maximise the number of supporters who can access these spaces, the carer’s ticket is normally issued for a seat immediately behind the wheelchair bay. For those matches where there is sufficient space, carers are of course very welcome to sit next to the wheelchair bay and Club staff and Stewards had been instructed to be as helpful as possible in facilitating this.
Barn Park Stand (Visiting Supporters) - there are a maximum of 28 spaces for wheelchairs available for visiting supporters. All spaces are at pitch level. All visiting supporters with wheelchairs are situated with their own supporters.
Wheelchair dependent supporters should also be accompanied by a person who is capable of supporting the disabled person’s needs in the event of an emergency. For this reason, Plymouth Argyle strongly recommend that this person is sixteen years of age or over and not infirm.
AMBULANT DISABLED SUPPORTERS
Plymouth Argyle are aware that there are a considerable number of people in the community who use wheelchairs, mainly for outdoors mobility purposes, but are not necessarily confined to their wheelchair. There are also many people suffering severe walking difficulties who may wish to watch a match. For the purpose of this policy both categories of people will be termed as 'ambulant disabled supporters'. Those supporters with ambulatory disabilities of a severe nature will be able to have access to seating nearest the entrances/exists.
SUPPORTERS WITH INVISIBLE DISABILITIES
Should you wish a accompany a supporter who has a less obvious disability such as Autism, Dementia, Anxiety, Mental Health issues or Severe Learning Disabilities and you require help or advice, please contact the DLO who will endeavour to provide assistance specific to the needs of the individual.
VISUALLY IMPAIRED SUPPORTERS
The club has a dedicated audio-described commentary service, called Soccer Sight, for its visually impaired supporters. This service is available to home and visiting supporters. The club have 10 headsets available and these can be pre-booked by contacting the DLO. Headsets can then be collected on a match-day from the main club reception. They should be returned to the nearest steward after the match or to the main club reception. The headsets are able to access the commentary from every part of the ground and the commentary will commence approximately 15 minutes before kick off. There is no charge for this service.
The club strongly recommends that a person who is fully able to support their needs in the event of an emergency should accompany each visually impaired supporter attending a match.
Assistance Dogs are allowed into the stadium but the club recommend that any supporter wishing to bring an assistance dog contact the DLO at least seven days before the match. Due reference will be given to all aspects of safety and guidance from Guide Dogs for the Blind to ensure safety in the ground. Measures will also be taken to ensure that the welfare of the Assistance Dog is preserved.
CAR PARKING FACILITIES
The club currently has 11 spaces in the Higher Home Park car park allocated to those home supporters with the most severe mobility difficulties. These spaces have now been allocated for the 2017-18 season.
However, there is additional parking available in the Outland Road car park, which is situated directly in front of the stadium. These spaces are available to both home and visiting supporters on a first come, first served basis.
DROP OFF POINT
If you are unable to locate a nearby parking space and have a disabled passenger please contact the DLO on 07855489112 who may be able to arrange to meet, assist and accompany a disabled passenger prior to the carer/driver parking.
There are specially adapted toilets located in the Devonport, Lyndhurst and Barn Park stands. Each of these toilets is alarmed. There is also a new disabled supporter’stoilet located next to the Disabled Stand and one located behind the main Grandstand, with room to accommodate a carer to assist
MATCH- DAY AMBASSADORS
The disabled stand has dedicated match-day ambassadors whose specific role is to enhance the safety and enjoyment of our disabled fans. They are available to offer assistance and provide a wheelchair to transfer from the car park to your seat; they will also assist with such things as half time refreshments. All other Stewards are trained, or working towards, NVQ Level 2 in Spectator Safety.
Match-day catering is provided in the concourses. Due to the number of people using the concourses pre-match and at half time, the club stewards will also offer assistance in getting refreshments for disabled supporters.
Other facilities that come under the general heading of catering such as the Tribute Legends Lounge and executive boxes are accessible to our disabled supporters.
ACCESS TO OTHER FACILITIES
Home Park has many other facilities that are available on match-days and non-match-days that are not directly linked with watching the match i.e. Superstore, hospitality lounges/suites.
The club has carried out an informal DDA audit of these facilities and, whilst most are currently accessible, improvements are planned.
If any visually impaired supporters require alternative formats of club publications, please contact the DLO.
PADSA (Plymouth Argyle Disabled Supporters Association) is an organisation dedicated to assisting PAFC disabled supporters.
They can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, contacted by phone on 07936 542497 or visit the website www.padsa.co.uk. They are also on Twitter @PADSA_Group2015 and Facebook, Plymouth Argyle Disabled Supporters Association (closed group).
The PADSA Lounge
Plymouth Argyle FC , in joint venture with PADSA and the Green Taverners, are delighted to be able offer the PADSA lounge facility for season 2017-18. This is an informal space situated behind the Main Grandstand where disabled supporters can meet before the match and at half time. The facility will be open for 90 minutes prior to every home match and includes live Sky TV or streaming of the match.
For more details contact the DLO or PADSA.
Plymouth Argyle Football Club welcomes any feedback on this policy and would encourage any person to contact the DLO with their comments.