12:45 23 July 2016
Policy For Disabled Supporters
The Rochdale Association Football Club Limited fully supports the principle of equal opportunities and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability.
The club offers a concessionary price in designated areas of the ground specifically reserved for wheelchair using supporters.
The club recognises that not all of its facilities are fully accessible to disabled customers and confirms that it is committed to making necessary reasonable adjustments described by the Disability Discrimination Act and its relevant Codes of Practice to ensure full compliance with the legislation.
Definition Of Disability
As a fundamental principle the Disability Discrimination Act states that disabled people should not be treated “less favourably, without justification”; and “reasonable adjustments should be made to make good, facilities and services accessible”. The Rochdale Association Football Club Ltd aim to fully comply with both the provisions and spirit of the Act.
For the purposes of this Policy only the definition of a disabled supporter is:
“Any person who, because of their disability or impairment, is unable to use ordinary stand seating without contravening Health and Safety Regulations, Guidelines or Policy or where the Club has provided a “reasonable adjustment” to enable that supporter to attend the venue. Any such person will be considered for use of the “designated areas” of the stadium in line with the procedures set out in this policy”.
A “reasonable adjustment” in the context shall include (but is not limited to), the need to use a wheelchair, the need to bring a “personal assistant” for either personal care or safety reasons, or the use of an auxiliary service (e.g. match commentary for visually impaired supporters or “loop systems” for supporters with sensory impairments).
A “designated area” is any area (including specific seats around the stadium) that the club shall, in its sole discretion determine as being available for the disabled concessionary ticket price.
A person has a “disability” if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
The Rochdale Association Football Club Ltd reserves the right to request “proof of a disability” before issuing any concession. Such proof shall include:
• Receipt of the middle or higher rate of the Disability Living Allowance (care component only)
• Receipt of either the severe Disablement Allowance or Attendance Allowance
• A personal letter from your GP
NB Receipt of a Blue badge will not necessarily be considered sufficient proof of disability for the concessionary price.
Contact With Existing Disabled Supporters
The club is a Full Member of the Level Playing Field (formerly known as NADS – National Association of Disabled Supporters)
Facilities for Supporters Using Wheelchairs
The club has 33 positions for wheelchair supporters with adjoining seats for their Personal Assistants (carers), if required. These are situated in Willbutts Lane Stand (16) for away supporters. Main Stand (8) and Pearl Street Stand (9) for home supporters.
Wheelchair Disabled places are provided at the concessionary price relevant to the stand in which they are housed. Should a Personal Assistant (carer) be required they will admitted free of charge.
This concession will only be available to those people who meet the eligibility criteria described below.
• Wheelchair using applicants must be largely confined to a wheelchair, or not capable of walking a distance further than that required to reasonably and safely access any other part of the stadium.
• Wheelchair using applicants should, ideally, also be accompanied by a person who is capable of supporting the disabled person’s needs in the event of an emergency. For this reason The Rochdale Association Football Club strongly recommend that a person is sixteen years of age or over and not to be infirm.
The club’s Health and Safety policy require that the person using a wheelchair remain in their wheelchair, which should remain in the designated bay. Any refusal will be deemed to be a contravention of Health and Safety policy and you may be asked to leave the stadium/be declined a ticket.
Facilities For Supporters And Visual Impairments
The club has two positions for visually impaired supporters and if required, their personal assistant. These are situated in the Main Stand.
Visually impaired supporters using this area will be charged the concessionary price for their tickets. Should a personal assistant be required, they will not be charged for a match ticket.
Match commentary is provided by the Rochdale AFC Club Website and the headset are available from the Club Office by prior arrangement.
The club strongly recommends that each visually impaired person attending a match should be accompanied by a person who is fully able to support their needs in the event of an emergency.
Guide Dogs are allowed into the Stadium but we would recommend that supporters with Guide Dogs contact the club before the match so that we can discuss with them access to the ground, facilities inside the ground and the welfare of the Guide Dog before, during and after the match.
Facilities For Supporters With Infirmities
Supporters with physically restricting medical conditions can sometimes have difficulty in reaching seats in some parts of the stadium.
The Rochdale Association Football Club Ltd is conscious of a growing elderly population and wish to consider their needs in order for them to be able to continue watching matches whenever possible. With this in mind it is proposed that those elderly people suffering from an infirmity which prevents them climbing large numbers of steps should be able to request a seat in the most accessible part of the stadium (ie nearest the entrances/exits). Please advise the ticket office of this request at the time of booking.
Facilities For Supporters With Learning Difficulties
Supporters with learning difficulties can normally be accommodated in any part of the stadium in normal seating. However, if, for whatever reason, any person with a learning difficulty feels that ordinary stand seating would be unsuitable for them, they will be entitled to sit in the disabled concessionary areas, subject to availability and receive the appropriate concession (including the FREE PA seat). Please contact the ticket office on 0844 826 1907, option 8 for further information.
The Rochdale Association Football Club Ltd recognise that disabled people have families who may wish to attend matches as a family unit in much the same way as non-disabled people would. The Rochdale Association Football Club will try and accommodate such requests although this may not always be possible.
Please contact the ticket office for assistance in obtaining tickets as close as possible to the designated areas.
Car Parking Facilities
The Rochdale Association Football Club Ltd has 12 disabled persons parking places which are allocated to disabled people with the most severe mobility difficulties. Disabled matchday attendees should contact the club at least 24 hours prior to the game to request a space. Applications can be made to Gina Buckley and each request will subject to availability.
Two disabled spaces will be reserved for away supporters who can book the spaces by contacting Gina Buckley on 0844 826 1907, option 8 at least 24 hours prior to the game. Cost of £5 to be pre-paid in advance of the match.
The Rochdale Association Football Club Ltd would ask that people recognise that there is a limited number of places available and it will not be possible to accommodate everyone who has a Blue Badge.
Matchday catering for disabled people is provided in the concourses where there is no lowered serving area for wheelchair supporters we would ask your personal assistant or the clubs stewards to assist in getting refreshments.
Other facilities which come under the general heading of catering such as Executive Lounges, are accessible to disabled people.
Disabled Persons Toilets
There is one toilet in each stand with a choice of “sided” transfers.
If you experience any problems with use of the disabled toilets (or they are being abused), please contact the nearest steward on the day or the Secretary after the match.
Access To Other Facilities
The club has many facilities available on match days and non-match days which aren’t directly linked with actually watching the match. Such facilities include the club shop, executive boxes etc.
The Rochdale Association Football Club Ltd openly welcomes comments on this policy and would encourage any person to contact the club with their comments or queries.
Reviewed July 2016