The first meeting of the Disability Access Officer Network Group has begun in Barcelona, bringing together Disability Access Officers (DAOs) and other key stakeholders to shape the development of the role.

The meeting, hosted by FC Barcelona, is being attended by over 30 DAOs from across Europe. National associations, clubs, Disability NGOs and disabled fans groups are also represented at the meeting.

Since June 2015, the Disability Access Officer role has been enshrined within UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations. Article 35bis states;

1) The licence applicant must have appointed a disability access officer to support the provision of inclusive, accessible facilities and services.

2) The disability access officer will regularly meet and collaborate with the relevant club personnel on all related matters.

CAFE has been commissioned by UEFA to oversee the implementation of the role, and has established a network of DAOs to share best practices and common solutions to access and inclusion barriers.

The aim of this meeting is to introduce members of the DAO Network Group and to discuss some of the common issues and challenges that they have faced. The Group will also look into the UEFA DAO Handbook, and discuss how this supports them in their roles.

The meeting was opened by FC Barcelona Director of OAE Emili Rousaud, with UEFA Club Licensing Coordinator Alexis Angelopoulos also providing an update on UEFA's support for the DAO role.

The meeting will also include a number of case studies from clubs, national associations and other organisations on their implementation of the role.

CAFE DAO Project Manager Jochen Kemmer said, "We are delighted to welcome the DAO Network Group to Barcelona, and we must say a huge thank you to FC Barcelona for all of their help and support in hosting the event".

"The DAO Network Group has a hugely important part to play in developing this role, and we are fortunate to be working with many fantastic members with a great commitment to Total Football #TotalAccess", added Jochen.

To find out more about the Disability Access Officer role, please visit the CAFE DAO Portal here. You can keep up with the meeting on social media using #DAONetwork and #TotalAccess.

Published 15/01/2019