CAFE Managing Director Joanna Deagle recently travelled to Panama to take part in the two-day CONCACAF Professional Football Development (PFD) workshop held in Panama City.

The workshop, bringing together member associations from the Northern and Central America region, served as a platform to provide associations with detailed information and best practice examples.

Joanna presented on stadium accessibility, discussing the importance of access and inclusion, understanding some of the barriers often faced by disabled people and providing examples of how CONCACAF member associations can improve the situation in their own countries.

The presentation included a focus on accessible facilities and services inside stadiums, as well as some of the non-matchday improvements that can be made, such as Disability Inclusion and Etiquette Training for staff members. Joanna also discussed how to communicate effectively and respectfully with differently disabled people, and providing access information for disabled fans wishing to attend a live match.

Speaking after the workshop, Joanna said, "It is a real honour to have been invited to present at the CONCACAF PFD workshop. CAFE has been actively working across Europe since 2009 to improve access and inclusion for disabled fans, and whilst some types of barriers may vary across the different regions, the aim remains the same: to empower disabled people to take their rightful places across all areas of the game".

"We hope to continue to spread our message of Total Football #TotalAccess across the entire football world, to celebrate a game that is truly accessible, inclusive and welcoming for all", added Joanna.

The workshop also included a number of sessions designed to support the CONCACAF member associations in developing an effective football strategy. This included presentations on conducting effective stadium inspections, security and competition management, and developments in club licensing regulations.

FIFA also shared a series of Professional Football Updates, with case studies from across the globe showing how football was being used to bring about wider social change.

For more information on CONCACAF and its works across the Northern and Central America region, please visit the CONCACAF website here.

Published 24/10/2019