Many disabled Wolverhampton Wanderers fans have been able to continue to follow their team amidst the ongoing pandemic, with the club introducing a number of accessible services recently.

Ahead of their game with Southampton on Monday 23 November, Wolves provided their official matchday programme in an audio format for the first time. Available via the official Wolves app, Spotify and other podcast providers, the programme was read by a trained audio descriptor from Alan March Sport.

This first audio programme included Nuno Espirito Santo’s managers' notes, the in-depth story of defender Maximilian Kilman’s route to Wolves and former striker Chris Iwelumo’s My Golden Game feature.

This is the latest initiative taken by Wolves to enhance the matchday experience for a wider range of supporters, particularly with supporters currently unable to return to Molineux Stadium.

As English clubs begin to welcome a limited number of supporters back, those based in 'tier 3' areas of restrictions must continue to play matches with no fans inside the stadium. Wolverhampton is currently in the highest tier of restrictions, meaning many fans have had to rely on new and inventive ways to keep supporting their team from home.

To further support partially sighted and blind fans, audio-descriptive commentary (ADC) was also provided online via the club's digital platforms for the first time during this home fixture. 

The service will continue to be available through the Wolves TV platform going forwards. The club had previously provided ADC inside the stadium, having first launched in 2019. During the pandemic, Wolves had initially made their ADC stream available via Zoom.

Chair of Wolves Disabled Supporters Association, Steve Daniels commented: “We as the Wolves DSA are very proud to sponsor this service for our disabled supporters. It shows our commitment to helping improve the matchday experience for our fans”.

Disability Access Officer, Laura Wright added: “We are proud to enhance our inclusion at Wolves by offering a match day programme in audio format, to any supporter who may find reading a hard copy difficult, significantly improving their experience of match day. This can be listened to at a point that suits them, even driving or walking the dog.”

After Wolves' home fixture to Chelsea on 15 December, and having provided another audio programme and online audio-descriptive commentary, disabled fan Rob said:

“A huge thank you for the audio version of the matchday programme that is now available. I am partially sighted and can just about read the programme with the help of a magnifier, but now having the audio format, it makes things so much easier”.

For further information on inclusive services such as audio-descriptive commentary and for advice on how to implement them at your stadiums and clubs, please contact CAFE Media and Communications Manager Michael Rice at [email protected], or call +44(0)208 065 5108.

Published 16/12/20