Making football accessible for everyone
Torquay United Football Club (the Club) opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability and actively encourages the inclusion of all supporters with disabilities.
The Club is committed to taking a proactive approach to ensure that the needs of all supporters and visitors to the Club with disabilities are met, and that it will make where necessary, reasonable adjustments to the different services provided by the Club.
Torquay United AFC is an equal opportunities employer and supports all aspects of equality and diversity as set out in its different employment policies.
The Club operates a specific non-discriminatory ticketing policy for supporters with disabilities and will ensure that the scheme does not differentiate between different disability groups.
Where charges are made, the charge will be made to the person with the disability. This is in line with current “disability etiquette” which maintains that people with disabilities should be treated in the same way as non-disabled person or in this case spectator.
Fans with a disability that require a carer to attend the match with them will be able to bring a carer with them. The carer will receive free entry to the match.
Please note if the person with the disability cannot attend a match, their carer will only be allowed access provided that they pay for a full price ticket.
The Club reserves the right to ask for ‘proof of disability’ before issuing any concession under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA), which was replaced by the Equality Act 2010. However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA continues to apply.
Such proof shall include:
- Receipt of the Standard or Advance rate of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), (daily living or mobility component).
- Receipt of the middle or higher rate of the Disability Living Allowance (mobility or care component).
- Receipt of either the Severe Disablement Allowance or Attendance Allowance.
- A personal letter from a GP.
- Receipt of a Blue Badge will not be considered sufficient proof of disability.
Should an existing season ticket holder become disabled, they may apply for a transfer to a designated viewing area. Where possible, the Club will aim to accommodate such a request. If after considering all possible reasonable adjustments the Club concludes that it is unable to provide a space, then priority consideration will be given when a space becomes available.
The Club is unable to offer opportunities for supporters with disabilities to attend away matches, but will provide help by obtaining contact details for opposition clubs upon request.
As a fundamental principle, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA) stated that disabled people should not be treated ‘less favourably, without justification’ and ‘reasonable adjustments should be made to make goods, facilities and services accessible’. Torquay United Football Club aims to comply fully with both the spirit and provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2010.
For purposes of this policy only, the definition of a supporter with a disability is:
Any person who, because of their disability 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.
As defined by the Equality Act 2010, a person with a Disability is defined as an individual who “has a physical or mental disability which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
Blind and Partially Sighted Supporters
The Club is able to accommodate supporters who are blind and partially sighted in all parts of the ground, but the club recommends that the blind or severely partially sighted person attending a match at Plainmoor be accompanied by a carer who is fully able to support their needs in the event of an emergency.
On match days, information will be carried via the public-address system.
Wheelchair Dependent Supporters
Torquay United Football Club has a limited number of spaces for wheelchair dependent supporters and their carer’s in all parts of the ground with the exception of the Popular Terrace and Away Terrace.
Away supporters have access to a designated area in our Bristow’s Bench stand.
Individuals using, or wishing to apply for use of these designated areas must meet the following criteria:
- Wheelchair using applicants must be largely dependent on a wheelchair for mobility purposes or not capable of walking a distance further than that required to reasonably and safely access any other part of the stadium.
- Wheelchair dependent applicants of either manual or powered wheelchairs are encouraged to be accompanied by a carer who is capable of supporting their needs in the event of any emergency evacuation.
The Club would not refuse admittance to those who don’t bring a personal assistant; any refusals will only be on the grounds of a contravention of Health and Safety legislation.
Designated areas for wheelchair dependent home supporters are located in the Family Stand and Bristow’s Bench.
People wishing to apply for season ticket places in these designated areas should contact the Club.
Wheelchair dependent supporters who require tickets for a designated area are encouraged to purchase tickets 48 hours in advance.
Supporters with Learning Difficulties
Supporters with learning difficulties can be accommodated in the stadium by various means as it is normally possible for them to use ordinary stand accommodation. If for whatever reason, any person with a learning difficulty feels that ordinary stand accommodation would be unsuitable for them, they should contact the Club for further information.
Supporters with learning difficulties can normally attend games by themselves. However, if for whatever reason this is not the case, we encourage them to be accompanied by a carer who is capable of supporting their needs in the event of any emergency evacuation.
Supporters with Ambulatory Disabilities
The Club recognises that there are considerable numbers of people in the community who use wheelchairs mainly for outdoor mobility purposes, but who are not necessarily confined to their wheelchair. There are also many people suffering severe walking difficulties who may wish to watch a match. There are also people with learning difficulties or debilitating illnesses who have difficulty walking. For the purposes of this policy this category of people will be termed ‘supporters with ambulatory disabilities’ and they will be asked to follow the procedure below in order to attend a match:
Supporters with ambulatory disabilities who require seats in appropriate areas are encouraged to purchase tickets 48 hours in advance.
It will also be necessary for the ambulant supporter to provide qualifying documentation relating to their condition in order to qualify for a personal assistant ticket, if a personal assistant is required.
There is very limited parking available at the stadium and therefore requests for parking has to be considered on merit. It is with regret that the Club cannot guarantee parking spaces for fans with a disability on either non-match days, or match days.
Fans with a disability who require a parking space should contact the Club at the earliest opportunity where every attempt will be made to try and accommodate that request.