To support the development of Disability Access Officers at football clubs and national associations across Europe, UEFA and CAFE have published a dedicated Disability Access Officer (DAO) Handbook.

In June 2015, the UEFA Executive Committee approved new Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations, which included a provision requiring clubs to appoint a dedicated Disability Access Officer.

Article 35bis of the regulations 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.”

The Handbook begins with a foreword from UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, who asks footballing stakeholders, “In the spirit of Total Football, Total Access, and with the help of this Disability Access Officer Handbook, please join us in our efforts to make football fully accessible for all”.

The DAO Handbook outlines a number of the key responsibilities that a DAO should undertake in order to improve access and inclusion at their club. It provides useful tips and case study examples of existing DAOs from across the UEFA region, which illustrate the scope of the role and the potential impact it can have in ensuring an equal game. 

CAFE Managing Director Joanna Deagle said, “It is with great pleasure that we launch the Disability Access Officer Handbook, and we are sure this will be an invaluable guidance document for national associations, clubs and DAOs in becoming true champions of access and inclusion across Europe”.

The Handbook is available to download here.

CAFE is also keen to establish a network of DAOs from across Europe, providing a platform to share advice, ideas and best practice examples.

Project Manager Jochen Kemmer said, “The launch of the DAO Handbook is a landmark moment both for CAFE and for disabled football fans, but the real success of the DAO project will be establishing a strong support network, where key stakeholders can work together towards a game that is accessible and inclusive for all”.

A version of this article is also available in Russian, Portuguese, German and French.

Published 25/09/2017