On Thursday 3 December 2020, to coincide with International Day of Disabled People and its theme of ‘not all disabilities are visible’, CAFE published a report of our research project into access and inclusion for non-visibly disabled spectators and spectators with long-term health conditions.

The CAFE survey is the first of its kind within stadium accessibility and aims to help to raise further awareness and understanding of non-visibly disabled people and people with long-tern health conditions.

Approximately 70% of disabled people are non-visibly disabled. Non-visible disabilities and conditions are not always instantly noticeable to others. This can be because they are not physical, or the person does not evidently use any assistive technology or equipment. Like other disabled people, non-visibly disabled people are disabled by barriers within the environment around them.

In order to help CAFE best compile this survey, in which 277 people participated from 21 countries, we worked closely with an Expert Working Group. 

This group included Poppy Ellis Logan (Attention UK), Libby Herbert (Colostomy UK), Soufiane El Amrani (Inclusion Europe), Cormac Coyle (Inspire), Daniel Townley (Level Playing Field), Nicky Baker (Level Playing Field), and Olga Kotova (Perspektiva).

Once the report was completed, CAFE sought the reaction of these experts and here is what they said:

Libby Herbert, Colostomy UK

An extremely well documented report, CAFE should be very proud of it. I love that you have included quotes, it puts a bit of life into the report, a human element, not all numbers and statistics. It is also written in a style that is informative and explanatory, this will ensure anyone reading it will engage and hopefully have their awareness raised, supporting them to make the necessary changes to their behaviour and infrastructure. 

Cormac Coyle, Inspire

This report highlights how society and clubs need to improve their supports in ensure their disabled fans have a more enjoyable experience.

Poppy Ellis Logan, Attention UK

Absolutely brilliant report, really comprehensive and it’s wonderful that you’ve included quotes from the fans as well to help make things feel real. Above all, non-visibly disabled people require understanding, an open-mindedness and willingness to learn about adjustments that can be made.

Daniel Townley, Level Playing Field

An excellent summary of what the group discussed and a really helpful guide to clubs. (Being a part of the Expert Working Group) was helpful to hear from experts and leading voices for particular non-visible disabilities. It helped me to consider some of the guidance that we offer to clubs and some of the terminology that we use.

Soufiane El Amrani, Inclusion Europe

It was very interesting being part of the Expert working group, as it had people that were experts in different types of disability. When a lot of different organisations work together, it is much easier to achieve a goal and it creates opportunities for organisations to learn with and from each other.

CAFE would once again like to thank all of the members of the Expert Working Group and hopes that the report will urge more clubs across Europe to commit to making their matchday experience accessible to all, allowing football to once again set best practice standards in accessibility.

To find out how these recommendations make the matchday journey more accessible for non-visibly disabled fans and fans with long-term health conditions and for more detailed analysis and ideas, please read the CAFE report: Access and inclusion for non-visibly disabled spectators and spectators with long-term health conditions.

Download the Access and inclusion for non-visibly disabled spectators and spectators with long-term health conditions Summary Report.

Download the Summary Report (Word version).

Download the Summary Report (Easy-to-read version).

Published 07/12/20