Wrexham AFC leading the way in inclusion at football matches
Life is a team game. Just ask Wrexham AFC.
The club is one of the first football clubs in the UK to make its home-ground, known as the Racecourse, an autism friendly stadium.
Wrexham AFC has worked closely with the Wrexham-branch of the National Autistic Society to make this happen by making a range of adjustments.
It’s a superb example of how a sporting organisation is delivering an inclusive experience for different groups of supporters including people with autism.
An autism friendly experience
First, Wrexham AFC held a 'Walk About' session at the Racecourse stadium, opening it at a quiet time for fans who have autism so they could see the reserved seating area and the nearby toilet facilities.
Familiarity and repetition is very important to people who have autism, so allowing them to have a look around the stadium, including the route to enter and exit, was a great way to put these supporters at ease.
There is a quiet area away from the crowd for people to use during matches and ear defenders are available to help cut down the noise level of the crowd.
There’s also a food and drink order service, so people can opt to have food and drink delivered directly to their seats, instead of them having to go to a busy and noisy concourse.
And supporters who have autism can also choose to arrive at the stadium early when it is much quieter, and stay seated until the stadium has cleared of other fans before they leave.
Online and offline accessibility matters
This is great work by Wrexham AFC to become more disability confident, and the club has also worked hard to become dementia friendly as well.
Here at Recite Me we welcome the move to greater accessibility and creating the right environment for fans in sports stadiums.
But we also encourage all football clubs to ensure the whole experience of being a football supporter is inclusive, including online.
That’s why Scottish football-club St Johnstone FC has added Recite Me’s accessibility and language toolbar to its website, which helps all supporters do things like read club news, look at fixture lists and buy tickets.
Recite Me can help people with a whole range of disabilities, including autism and dementia by letting them use and look at any website the way that suits them best.
Ultimately, creating both inclusive online experiences as well as offline experiences is essential to ensure everyone can take an active part in supporting their favourite football team.
It’s definitely a case of stronger together for all football clubs and their supporters.
100’s of organisations including St Johnstone Football Club use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who have disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.