In supporting the development of the Disability Access Officer (DAO) role, CAFE Project Manager Jochen Kemmer has undertaken a number of shadow visits to meet DAOs across Germany and gain a wider understanding of their day-to-day activities.

Jochen met with Hannover 96 DAO Detlef Kühne, who works with the club on all aspects of the disabled fans' experiences. This includes a range of duties, from ensuring that accessible toilets are fully operational before each match, to organising the distribution of disabled fans match tickets.

Detlef has built up a strong relationship with Hannover 96's disabled fans, and is also a wheelchair user himself. He is in regular contact with the club's disabled supporters group, and also liaises with a number of local disability NGOs.

Jochen also met with RB Leipzig and their DAO Axel Ackermann. Axel volunteers at the club, and also manages a team of 20 volunteers working to support the club's disabled fans.

Axel has overseen a number of access and inclusion improvements at the club, including the introduction of sign language interpretation inside the stadium and an at-seat food and drink service for disabled fans.

Hoffenheim DAO Charly Mildenberger welcomed Jochen to the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. Charly is also a volunteer with a team of 6, working hard to ensure disabled fans enjoy a welcoming experience.

Charly has supported the providing of audio-descriptive commentary, which can be listened to in all areas of the stadium bowl. Charly has also addressed the problem that many disabled fans encountered during the winter months, providing electric blankets meaning fans can keep warm whilst supporting their sides.

The sharing of best practices is important in promoting a game that is accessible and inclusive for all. DAOs across Germany and the rest of Europe are working hard to promote Total Football Total Access at their clubs, and CAFE is establishing a network of DAOs that will help DAOs in sharing information and experiences.

For further information about the Disability Access Officer role, and to download the UEFA and CAFE DAO Handbook, please click here.

Published 14/12/2017