West Ham United has highlighted the London Stadium as a fully accessible venue and the wide range of support the Club has in place for all persons with accessibility requirements to mark Disabled Access Day 2023, which is being celebrated on Thursday 16 March.
Disabled Access Day encourages people to think about visiting somewhere they have never been to before, to try something new in an atmosphere of cooperation, safety and fun and to raise awareness of the importance for inclusive access. Globally, one in seven people, approximately 1.3 billion, live with a disability – physical, visual or hearing.
One of the Valuable 500 companies working together for disability inclusion, West Ham has numerous measures in place at the London Stadium across multiple areas to support people with disabilities on matchdays. These include the following:
- Bespoke matchday commentary is available for visually impaired and blind supporters. There are 70 accessible headsets available for supporters at London Stadium.
- British Sign Language (BSL) staff are available to support spectators at London Stadium. Both the matchday supporter liaison team and the disabled supporter assistance team have staff members who are trained in BSL Level One in order to provide additional support for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
- An Accessible Shuttle Bus service, Accessible seating and Accessible Information by Stand are part of the accessible measures the Club have in place to support people at every home game.
- Supporters can contact the Club to request an access card, which allows them utilise lifts and designated accessibility lanes at the London Stadium on matchdays.
- All front-line staff have been trained to support those with hidden disabilities and West Ham recently became part of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme, which enables people with non-visible disabilities to access the specific support they need.
- A Sensory Room (pictured) is in place at London Stadium to provide a space for people with sensory needs to enjoy Hammers matchdays in a calm and comfortable. environment, which has been developed in close conjunction with the Disabled Supporters’ Board (DSB).
- A dedicated expert team are in place to help disabled supporters on matchday, who can be identified by pink bibs. The team, who come from a variety of backgrounds, are experts in understanding the complex need of disabled supporters.
- Each entry bridge has a dedicated accessible lane for supporters who may struggle to stand in queues. These lanes are manned by a member of the stewarding team to ensure lanes are kept free for those who need them most. These entrances can be used by wheelchair users and ambulant disabled supporters.
- In all lifts, there are visual floor indicators, induction loops, an audible announcer, with lift doors distinguishable from their surroundings and access level/step-free.
- Directional floor signage is available outside of each lift in general admission areas and the steward operating the lift will be at hand to offer directional assistance.
- The West Ham United Access Statement provides supporters with all the information needed in relation to access, services and facilities at the London Stadium, and provides contact details for the Accessibility Team.
West Ham United Disability Access Officer Julie Pidgeon said: “Our Club is fully committed to providing a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for all supporters and visitors to London Stadium.
“Our stadium is a fully accessible venue, and we are pleased to have a wide range of measures in place for all persons with a disability to ensure supporters, staff and visitors can have an enjoyable experience.
“Disabled Access Day provides an important opportunity to shine a light on the work we do in this area and to encourage people to experience a welcome atmosphere of cooperation, safety and fun.”
For any enquiries relating to accessibility, please contact our Accessibility team on 0333 030 0174 or email [email protected].