The ongoing commitment by Brighton & Hove Albion to provide the best facilities possible for our disabled football supporters to ensure they enjoy their experiences at the Amex, has been highlighted in the latest Equality and Human Rights Commission report
The ‘State of Play’ report carried out by the Equalities and Human Rights Commissions (EHRC) investigated the work that Premier League football clubs undertake to make reasonable adjustments for supporters with a disability and the report on accessibility found that the Seagulls exceed expectations.
The report found that Albion exceed the required number of seats for disabled supporters, they consult regularly with fans and are proactive in addressing issues when they are identified.
The club was also found to provide well in excess of the recommended minimum number of Amenity and Easy Access seats, with those spaces available in all stands including the away section for visiting supporters.
These seats are identified on the ticketing system and are available to supporters who are registered on the system as requiring ambulant seating.
During the 2017 close season following promotion to the Premier League, the club have carried out works to improve the accessible toilets at the Amex Stadium – as well as being used at football matches, the Changing Places facility is also used by community organisations on non-match days.
Ahead of the 2018/19 campaign the club is working with Autism Sussex and AITC, as well as creating an “inclusion” room at the stadium – this will be a sound-proofed quiet space with a sensory room which will overlook the pitch at the Amex Stadium.
Those using the room will also have the option to move out into the main area of the stadium if they wish, with seats provided outside the room if required.
Following discussions with autistic supporters and their families, the club have also identified a way to help autistic fans communicate with stewards and are also in the process of investigating other ways that supporters with autism and other sensory impairments can benefit from a more enjoyable experience at the Amex Stadium.
Audio-descriptive commentary is also available to supporters, and ahead of the new Premier League season the club intends to change it’s online system so that AEA (Amenity and Easy Access seats) are identified for fans wishing to book them online.
Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber said, “We’re really pleased that our hard work has been recognised with the results of the findings from this report.
“We have always taken a positive attitude towards improving the facilities for our disabled supporters, and pride ourselves on the regular dialogue between ourselves and these fans – the findings show the positive changes we have made.”