Making football accessible for all
The Pompey Disabled Supporters Association have teamed up with Portsmouth Autism Support Network (PASN) to make football more accessible for those who suffer with autism and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).
Those with ASD can find the loud noise of a football stadium distressing, which makes it difficult to attend games and enjoy them in the same way as other fans.
However, recent guidance has recommended that using noise reduction tools, such as ear defenders, can have a big impact on alleviating this stress and make it a far more relaxed and calming environment.
And Pompey DSA and PASN have sourced a number of pairs of ear defenders which will be made available for fans to borrow should they need them.
Sam Piggott from Pompey DSA said: “The committee of Pompey DSA are pleased to be making new local contacts and partners to enable us to meet our aims of working to improve involvement and access at Fratton Park for people with all types of disabilities.
“We would very much like to thank Steve Jones, chairman of PASN, and Dale Lambourne of Covers for helping us support our fans with autism and autistic spectrum disorders.”
PASN chairman Steve Jones added: “Making football accessible has always been challenging for families and parents of those with autistic spectrum disorders, and this is a great help to make a difficult environment more manageable.
“A lot of our members are big football fans, but struggle with the noise and stress of a match, so these ear defenders will make a big difference.
“We’d also like to give a particular thanks to Covers Timber Merchants, and Dale Lambourne in particular, who provided these ear defenders free of charge – their contribution is greatly appreciated by both PASN and the DSA.”
The ear defenders are available via Pompey DSA, with contact information available here.
Demand is expected to be high, so it is recommended that those who are interested in using them get in touch at the earliest opportunity.