Success story in Donetsk, Ukraine. As part of the official UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion – Football with No Limits project, the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) and their local implementing partner, National Assembly of Disabled People in Ukraine are conducting audits of accessibility of public places within the territory of 1.5 km around the stadium and in the fan zones in all host cities.

This includes hotels, cafes and restaurants, banks and other venues that will be visited by fans and participants of the EURO 2012, including disabled fans. A pool of volunteers were trained to make these audits and provide advice and recommendations to business owners on how to improve access to their venues for disabled people and other beneficiaries of good access, including injured people, pregnant women, young children, older people and many others.

In Donetsk host city, one of the factors of the successful project implementation saw the engagement of senior students of the Donbass Academy of Construction and Architecture. Participation in this project became a real life practice for the students involved. Not only have they become familiar with peculiarities of the city architecture, but are also convinced that universal design and accessibility is crucial for the architecture of the future, which should be comfortable, inclusive and accessible for all.

One of the best volunteers Andrey Anisimov shared his impressions: ‘I think we are lucky to volunteer for this project which has provided us with a unique opportunity to practice and to meet so many joyful and creative disabled people who are making this world more contemporary and comfortable for themselves and other people. After this experience, most of us won’t be indifferent to violation of the building regulations, and what is more important – all our future projects will be accessible for all people in society’

More than 50 students took part in the project and audited around 500 venues on the main fans’ routes. This cooperation has ensured a speedy collection of high-quality audits in Donetsk, and has laid the foundations for future accessible architecture in the city of Donetsk.  

Information about accessible venues is available at in Ukraine, in Poland, and as a central hub for all European fans.

A version of this article is also available in Russian.

Published 27/04/2012