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Disabled Supporter Information at Portman Road

Disabled Supporter Information

Ipswich Town Football Club is committed to ensuring that its disabled supporters and visitors have as much access as reasonably possible to all goods, services and facilities provided or offered to the public by the Club.  

We are committed to taking a proactive approach to ensure that the needs of its disabled supporters and visitors are met (through good practice).

Contact Details

Contact: Lee Smith, Disability Liaison Officer

Emaillee.smith@itfc.co.uk

           disability@itfc.co.uk

Tel:  01473 400556

INTRODUCTION

Ipswich Town Football Club is fully committed to ensuring that its disabled supporters and visitors have as much access as reasonably possible to all goods, services and facilities provided or offered to the public by the Club. 

The Club is committed to taking a proactive approach to ensure that the needs of its disabled supporters and visitors are met. (Through good practice) 

The Club is in regular contact with the FA, Football League and disability organisations (LPF) Level Playing Field (formerly National Association of Disabled Supporters) to ensure that good practice methods are employed and legislative requirements are met.

ELIGIBILITY

A disabled person is one that has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities, or has had such impairment in the past. 

The Club reserves the right to check a person’s eligibility under the Equality Act 2010. From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced all previous equality legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The Club will request sight of one of the following documents:

  • Confirmation of entitlement to the medium or higher rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance.
  • Confirmation of Attendance Allowance.
  • Severe disablement allowance or war pensioners’ mobility supplement- a personal letter from a GP, social worker etc.
  • This list is not exhaustive and consideration will be given to any other evidence that can be provided
  • Please note that the DLA is being replaced by Personal Independence Payments (PIP’s)

MATCHDAY ACCESS AND SEATING

HOME SUPPORTERS WHEELCHAIR SPACES 

The home supporters’ wheelchair areas at Portman Road are in eight separate areas of the ground. The total number of spaces for wheelchair users in the stadium is approximately 103. These are situated in the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand, Magnus Group West Stand and Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

All the lower wheelchair spaces are under cover at the front of each stand. However, in the winter months these particular areas of the stands can be exposed to the elements. The upper sections are fully under cover. The seats for personal assistants are located next to or behind the wheelchair users’ space.

AMBULANT DISABLED SEATING  

There are seats available within our accessible areas for ambulant disabled supporters in each of the stands. There are also additional seats in designated areas behind the wheelchair user positions. All these have accessible toilets in close proximity and have been chosen for their clear ingress and egress routes. 

These areas are also recommended to any supporter who has concerns getting to their seats due to a temporary setback (broken bones, operation etc.) if it may affect their ability to leave the stadium in the event of an emergency, where they will receive assistance from our specially trained stewards who have all had disability awareness training.

WHEELCHAIR SPACES/AMBULANT DISABLED SEATING – VISITING SUPPORTERS

There are 10 visiting supporters’ wheelchair user positions with seats behind for personal assistants in the Magnus Group West Stand, these are situated in a mixed area of home and away, which is adjacent to the family area.

There are a number of seats available with personal assistants' seats adjacent in the lower Cobbold Stand. These are situated on the front row with limited stepped access. These seats have extra leg room and have specially trained stewards on duty. There are other seats available upon request but you may be required to undertake an individual health and safety review. For further assistance, please call the Disability Liaison Officer. 

WHEELCHAIR STORAGE/SHUTTLE SERVICE 

There are areas within the ground where wheelchairs can be stored, the main point being at the customer service office for supporters with disabilities, which is situated just inside the main entrance to the Football Club in Constantine Road. This gives the opportunity for supporters with access issues who do not need a wheelchair position but require a wheelchair to get to their seats to store them. The club has five wheelchairs available for use within the stadium. Supporters own wheelchairs are stored entirely at the customers own risk.

Assistance can be offered if required however supporters must book this service in advance and arrive at least 30 minutes before kick-off.

MATCHDAY FACILITIES

CATERING/TOILETS  

There is an accessible toilet situated close to each of the areas provided for our disabled supporters.

There are both mobile and fixed catering units located around the ground serving a variety of refreshments. Several of these units are accessible to wheelchair users and assistance is given if required by stewards in each area.

CORPORATE LOUNGES/BOXES 

The corporate areas in the Magnus Group West Stand and Sir Alf Ramsey Stand are accessible for disabled supporters. Lounges and Bars in the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand, Magnus Group West Stand and Sir Bobby Robson Stand are all fully accessible to ambulant supporters and wheelchair users. However, we regret that the corporate boxes in the Cobbold Stand are not accessible to disabled supporters due to the number of steps involved. The Hall of Fame restaurant is accessible to disabled supporters however there is not an accessible toilet.

Hospitality packages can be purchased in addition to matchday tickets. The sales team can be contacted on 01473 400594 for further information.

ASSISTANCE DOGS  

Assistance dogs are admitted to the ground. The Club should be notified in advance of the game by contacting the Club’s Disability Liaison Officer (“DLO”), so adequate provision can be made. There is a designated area for assistance dogs for the comfort of the owner and the dog with easy ingress and egress.

INDUCTION LOOPS  

Induction loops are fitted at the ticket office and with a mobile service as required. 

CAR PARKING  

Car parking is available upon request to both home and visiting disabled supporters. As spaces are limited, match-by-match parking can only be reserved on a first come, first served basis from seven days before the date of the fixture.

There are council run car parks situated around the ground which are chargeable. 

AWAY TRAVEL

The Club has an accessible coach available to them that is in operation for all away matches.* Spaces can be booked when purchasing away tickets but the Club does need to know at least three weeks in advance of the game and these are reserved on a first come, first served basis. 

*In the event that there is not sufficient demand for the use of the accessible coach, the Club reserves the right to not provide the service on some occasions. 

AUDIO COMMENTARY 

The Club has 10 radio headsets available to supporters with visual impairments ran through Soccer Sight, who provide dedicated descriptive commentary allowing the supporter to sit anywhere in the stadium. Headsets must be reserved in advance of the game through the DLO. 

RETAIL OUTLETS  

The Club has the Planet Blue store at Portman Road, selling replica kit and accessories, and it is fully accessible to all disabled supporters with a lift to the upper floor. 

Alternatively, merchandise can be purchased online by visiting www.itfcshop.com or by phoning the mail order enquiry line on 01473 400501.

TICKETING

TICKETING POLICY 

The Club will provide general information to its disabled supporters about ticket availability and pricing. Information will be produced in accessible formats on demand and will be published on the Club website. 

The Club will have a system of concessionary ticket prices tailored to its disabled supporters. The scheme will apply to those supporters where a reasonable adjustment has been made to facilitate viewing or where a personal support need has been identified. 

Concessions are not based on impairment type but recognise that some disabled supporters have a restricted choice of viewing in the stadium and/or could not attend a match without personal support. 

Should an existing season ticket holder become disabled, they may apply for a transfer to a designated disabled 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. 

BUYING TICKETS  

The Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) Lee Smith is the designated point of contact for buying tickets for disabled supporters. Confirmation of eligibility should be produced or sent as appropriate. 

Supporters can contact Lee by ringing 01473 400556 or by emailing lee.smith@itfc.co.uk.

TICKET PRICES & SALES  

The Club will operate a concessionary ticketing policy for disabled supporters and will ensure that the scheme does not discriminate between disabled people with differing impairments. 

Season Tickets
There is a concession available to all disabled supporters. This should be mentioned on disabled supporters’ renewal/application forms and a current DLA award document should be enclosed to confirm they are a person with a disability, as indicated earlier within this Policy.

MATCHDAY TICKETS

There are a number of tickets that are available on a match-by-match basis. As with season tickets, a concession is available to all disabled supporters.

Away Games

Tickets for disabled supporters for away matches are sold as per the clubs priority system and are subject to the away clubs ticketing policy. 

PERSONAL ASSISTANTS  

A personal assistant, where required, may accompany a disabled supporter free of charge, however the Club reserves the right to request evidence to support this where necessary. This information may be reviewed from time to time based on the information provided. 

In line with the Club’s general ticketing policy concerning the minimum age that a child is permitted to attend a match unaccompanied, personal assistants who accompany disabled supporters under the age of 13 years will be required to pay for a full junior price ticket. 

VISITING SUPPORTER TICKETS 

Visiting club supporters should contact Ipswich Town's DLO in order to purchase match tickets.

MATCHDAY INFORMATION 

Matchday information can be obtained by calling the DLO.

OTHER INFORMATION

STAFF AWARENESS  

The Club is committed to ensuring that all senior managers and appropriate "front line staff" are aware of their responsibilities in regard to disability, equality and the provisions of the Equality Act. 

The Club publicises to its staff that any incident of discrimination is a serious matter and will be dealt with under the Club’s Management Policy.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES  

The Club has a grievance procedure in place and guarantees to its disabled supporters that any complaints of discrimination will be dealt with quickly under that procedure. 

In the first instance, any issue should be raised with the Club’s DLO.

In conjunction with the supporter, the DLO will establish the following:

  • How the matter will be dealt with
  • Possible solutions
  • Timescale

The DLO will maintain constant dialogue until such time as the matter has reached a reasonable outcome. 

Should it be felt that the grievance has not been satisfactorily settled within the specified timeframe then the matter should be raised with the Club’s Ticket Office Manager. 

The Club’s Ticket Office Manager, having considered all the circumstances, will establish the most appropriate way of taking the matter forward. 

ALTERNATIVE FORMATS

Copies of this document can be made available upon request in large print or audio formats. Should you require this Policy in an alternative format, please contact the Club’s DLO. 

CONTACT INFORMATION 

Lee Smith - Disability Liaison Officer 
Tel: 01473 400556 
Email: disability@itfc.co.uk or lee.smith@itfc.co.uk

Gavin Preston – Ticket Office Manager 
Tel: 01473 400672 
Email: gavin.preston@itfc.co.uk

Neil McCluskey - ITFC Safety Officer
Tel: 01473 400541 
Email: neil.mccluskey@itfc.co.uk

ITFC Main Switchboard - 01473 400500

Club Website - www.itfc.co.uk