The Irish Football Association has hosted an event to formally announce and highlight existing and new accessibility services provided at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.
The main objectives of yesterday’s event were to create and foster relationships between the Irish FA, disability organisations and partners across Northern Ireland – as well as showcasing all accessible facilities and services to increase spectatorship of disabled fans through new and innovative technology.
Attendees included organisations specialising in physical disabilities, learning disabilities, developmental and neurological disabilities, acquired disabilities and life limiting or long-term health conditions. Also present at the event were non-disability partners such as the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters’ Clubs, NIFL clubs and Eventsec.
Accessibility ambassador Bernadette Hagans and Irish FA Disability Access Officer Jason Browning detailed how they live with disability and the differences that positive accessibility can make.
The Irish FA access team presented information on all facilities and services currently available on a match day, including wheelchair accessible and limited mobility seating, a quiet room, hearing support and visual impairment support. Plans for an innovative visual impairment technology and a warm room for vulnerable fans with long-term health conditions were also revealed.
Disability Access Officer Jason Browning said: “I’m delighted to host this fantastic, beneficial event. We’re always striving to provide best in class, equitable accessibility and disability services for disabled people in Northern Ireland. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and we’re incredibly excited for the future of our accessibility.
“Our partner organisations, both local and from further afield, will play a key role in helping us to continue making football accessible for all in Northern Ireland. Football is for all, and we believe our team are on a journey to help make that a reality.”