Lille LOSC has invited partially sighted and blind fans to attend Friday night’s match against AS Saint-Etienne as the club says farewell to outgoing President Michel Seydoux.

In November, Lille LOSC implemented an audio-descriptive commentary service that enables partially sighted and blind fans to enjoy live matches alongside their fellow fans.

The accessible service was introduced to Stade Pierre Mauroy as part of the UEFA EURO 2016 Respect Access for All project. CAFE trained 30 media and broadcast students to deliver audio-descriptive commentary in partnership with La Federation des Aveugles de France, and the service was made available at each match during the tournament. In legacy of the project, CAFE donated all audio-descriptive commentary equipment to the 10 host venues.

The club has continued to work with the Lille-based audio-descriptive commentators, and since November audio-descriptive commentary has been available at every home match.

Around 20 partially sighted and blind fans have been invited to the game, which will be Seydoux’s 721st and final match as club President.

Seydoux began his role in 2002, and is the longest serving President in the club’s history. He also helped to oversee Lille LOSC’s move from Stade Grimonprez-Jooris to Stade Pierre-Mauroy in 2012.

Audio-descriptive commentary will be available in all areas of the stadium bowl, and the service will commence 10 minutes before kick-off via 107.1FM. Listeners can connect using a radio app on a Google Android smartphone, or by using a personal radio or similar device. A limited number of portable radios will also be made available by Lille LOSC.

What is audio-descriptive commentary?

Audio-descriptive commentary is a dedicated matchday service for partially sighted and blind spectators, though it is also enjoyed by many non-disabled people

The specially trained commentator provides additional narration that describes all significant visual information such as body language, facial expression, scenery, action, clothing, colours and anything else that is important to conveying the image, venue, match, event or surrounding ambience.

During the match, the audio-descriptive commentator describes the on-pitch action rather than talking about statistics or tactics or providing lengthy summaries of previous action.

For further information about audio-descriptive commentary, or if you are interested in implementing the service at your club or venue, please email CAFE at [email protected].

Published 13/01/2017