Southampton Football Club is proud to once again be supporting the Level Playing Field weeks of action, in celebration of access and inclusion in the world of sport.
Level Playing Field seeks to promote a positive and inclusive experience for disabled sports fans, and its weeks of action, which this year run until March 14th, are not only used to highlight notable developments but also to provide inspiration to organisations on how they can improve.
Saints is committed to being as accessible and inclusive a club as possible, with a number of services available to our supporters. When fans are able to return to St Mary’s, they will be able to take advantage of the following…
Audio description service
Blind or partially-sighted supporters can utilise the club’s free-of-charge audio description service on matchdays, with trained commentators delivering all the key moments and colour of the full 90 minutes.
Both home and away fans can ensure they have a full picture of the action via our easy-to-use receivers, with the experienced team at Alan March Sport providing the service.
If you would like to know more, please contact our Supporter Services team on [email protected] or 02380 711980.
St Mary’s Sensory Room
Our dedicated Sensory Room has opened up the St Mary’s matchday experience to more individuals and families, providing an ideal space for them to be able to enjoy all the drama and action of the games.
The room has been in operation since September 2017 and provides a calming environment for fans of all ages with sensory differences, which can otherwise make the atmosphere inside a football stadium challenging for them.
It has proved an incredibly popular addition to St Mary’s since its opening and will hopefully continue to allow many more people in the future to be able to access the club’s games.
To find out more about the room and to register your interest in using it for future matches, please contact our Supporter Services team on [email protected] or 02380 711980.
As well as recognising the importance of ensuring that St Mary’s is accessible as possible, the club also understands that fans can face difficulties reaching the stadium in the first place.
It therefore offers a dial-a-ride service, which it funds through 1 Community, providing membership free-of-charge for those attending first-team home games, with each supporter and their enabler being collected from their home and taken to St Mary’s in accessible vehicles.
To use this service, you are required to have first-team match tickets and to book your space a minimum of three days before the fixture you wish to attend.
For further details on Dial-a-ride membership and how to book your matchday travel when games re-open to supporters, please contact 1 Community directly on 023 8090 2400.
Changing Places facility
A Changing Places facility is available for supporters to use. For any fans this would be helpful for, please contact our Supporter Services team in advance of attending the stadium and they will ensure you have easy access to the facility as and when required.
The club also has accessible toilets, for both right and left-hand transfer, in each of its stands.
As well as the above existing services, the club has also recently been looking at making improvements in the following areas…
Improving accessibility of social media content
The club is active on a variety of social media channels and has been working to improve the accessibility of its content on those platforms.
This includes now adding alt-text across images and graphics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, expanding the use of subtitles and closed-captioning on video content, and ensuring that Unicode text and special characters incompatible with screen readers are not used within posts.
Fans who have any questions or feedback around the accessibility of club content can contact our Supporter Services team on [email protected] or 02380 711980.
Enhancing our Disabled Supporters website pages
The club has improved the layout, structure and content of its Disabled Supporters section on southamptonfc.com, providing a full overview of all information and services on offer, as well as personal introductions from the Supporter Services team.
Staff across a wide range of departments recently undertook an Easy Read course with Easy Read UK, designed to help them understand and learn how to write accessible easy read documents, in order to improve access to information for people with learning, memory or communication challenges.
If you are a Season Ticket holder or match ticket buyer, please keep an eye out for any surveys the club sends, as these can include questions around accessibility, with the club keen to hear feedback.
As always, the club wants to work with its fans to ensure that the needs of all supporters are met, so please contact us if you have any questions or feedback.
Additionally, for more information on Level Playing Field, please visit their website by clicking here.