On Friday 1st June, one of the OOVIRT team set out to Moscow to learn more about how accessible the football World Cup in Russia will be. Be sure to follow our findings on social media and this post will be updated once we put together our findings.
We would welcome any questions and comments via our contact page on your thoughts on accessibility in football in general and for the 2018 World Cup.
Today we are looking at the general access to the stadiums.
Accessibility: At the stadiums
Disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility who have Special Access Tickets may be asked to provide proof of eligibility for their ticket at the stadium.
For Wheelchair User, Easy Access Standard or Easy Access Amenity Tickets, presentation of a proof that is commonly and widely accepted in the Ticket Applicant’s country of residence will be required. In Russia, acceptable proofs of eligibility include a certificate of degree of disability and a medical certificate. Please note that permits for accessible parking will not be accepted as valid proof.
For Obese Persons Tickets, presentation of a signed Doctor’s note stating the persons BMI will be required. The minimum BMI in order to require and therefore be eligible for an Obese Person Ticket is 35 kg/m2.
200 sets of equipment and headphones will be freely available for blind and partially-sighted football spectators at each stadium so that they can sit with all other spectators and enjoy the same experience.
With the aim of enhancing the experience for partially-sighted and blind fans attending matches, live audio-descriptive match commentary services will be provided in Russian at all stadiums, and in English in Saint Petersburg as well as at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
A number of accessible services to ensure disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility can enjoy a welcoming and inclusive matchday experience at the tournament will be provided. Please find a summary of these services below.
Each stadium will have a limited number of parking spaces for disabled people and people with limited mobility who hold Wheelchair User, Easy Access Standard and Easy Access Amenity tickets. Accessible parking areas are located as close as possible to the stadium while considering security regulations and operational requirements.
Parking Passes are required to access parking areas.
Detailed information on the location of accessible parking areas can be found in each of the stadium specific chapters of this guide.
At some stadiums, the Host City will provide a shuttle service (golf carts or minibuses) between accessible parking areas, public transportation points and stadium security gates to assist disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility before and after matches. For more information, please see the stadium specific chapters of this guide.
Accessibility assistance points and wheelchair loan service
Accessibility assistance points will be available at accessible parking areas and various other locations around the stadium grounds. For more detailed information regarding the location of Accessibility assistance points, please refer to the stadium specific chapters of this guide. Volunteers will be located at Accessibility assistance points to offer assistance to disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility.
A wheelchair loan service will be available from these points and disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility will be able to request this service before and at the end of the match.
Accessible security gates and stadium entrances
Every spectator will have a Security Gate number identified on their matchday ticket. Spectators should go through this specified Security Gate.
Dedicated accessible lanes at security screening areas will be identified with signage, using the international disability symbol.
Once through security, Special Access Ticket holders should go to the stadium entrance, which has the block number indicated on their ticket. The block number will either be located above, or next to the turnstiles.
Golf cart service
Golf carts will be available within the stadium grounds to assist wheelchair users and spectators with limited mobility between security entrances and stadium entrances before and after the match. They will be identified with the international disability symbol and volunteers will be available to offer assistance.
A large number of volunteers will be available at each stadium. Each volunteer has received disability awareness training and will be available to offer assistance or information to disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility.
A number of information points will be set up within each stadium where spectators can seek further information.
Audio-descriptive commentary and assistive hearing devices
Spectators will be able to borrow complimentary audio-descriptive commentary devices and (if applicable) assistive hearing devices from any of the information points located within the stadium. Spectators wishing to borrow a complimentary device will be required to sign a guarantee and return the device after the match has ended. Audio-descriptive commentary will be provided in Russian at all matches, and in Russian and English at matches at Moscow Luzhniki Stadium and Saint Petersburg Stadium.
Wheelchair storage areas will also be provided at these information points.
Accessible seating is available throughout the stadiums and includes:
- Specific viewing areas for wheelchair users;
- Standard easy access seating for disabled people and people with limited mobility who do not use a wheelchair but who require a seat that is easily accessible;
- Easy access amenity seats for disabled people and people with limited mobility who require easily accessible seating with extra leg room for crutches, walking aids or space for assistance dogs;
- Easy access extra-width seating for obese people;
Complimentary companion seats, where required, are provided for Special Access Ticket holders with tickets for a wheelchair user place, standard easy access or easy access amenity seats.
Special Access Ticket holders who have received a complimentary companion ticket will be seated as close as possible to their companion. Whenever possible, although not guaranteed, the companion will be seated adjacent to the Special Access Ticket holder.
Wheelchair User places are reserved for people who purchased a Wheelchair User Ticket. People who do not have such a ticket, but have brought a wheelchair/scooter with them, will be asked to store their wheelchair/scooter during the match in a dedicated storage room close to Information Points within the stadium.
For safety and security as well as operational reasons, manual or electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters need to fulfil certain basic requirements: they can have either 3 or 4 wheels; the maximum dimensions are 700mm wide and 1300mm long; the maximum turning radius is 900mm; the maximum turning width is 1500mm; and their maximum speed must be 6 km/h.
Due to the design of some stadiums, minimal step access and aisle seating for Special Access Ticketholders was not always possible. In these cases, volunteers will be available to assist disabled people and people with limited mobility who ask for help.
Wheelchair accessible toilets are located close to accessible seating areas. Most stadiums have unisex accessible toilets, enabling a companion of the opposite sex to offer assistance if required. Some stadiums have wheelchair accessible toilets within male / female toilet blocks only.
Accessible food & beverage concessions
Food & beverage concessions located close to accessible seating areas have a low-level counter and / or a priority lane for disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility. These concessions should be clearly signposted to enable disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility to easily locate them. Volunteers will also be available to help ensure priority access to disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility.
If a disabled person or person with limited mobility needs assistance with using the priority lane, they should ask a volunteer nearby for help to minimise your time queuing.
Due to the infrastructure of some of the stadiums, accessible concessions may not be available on all levels.
Spectators with assistance dogs will be permitted in all areas of the stadium, but should be aware that relieving areas and water bowls are not available. You may be asked to present the animal’s veterinary record indicating that all vaccinations are up to date and official documentation stating that the animal is an assistance animal.
Each stadium has its own emergency evacuation process. In addition, stewards will be available to assist disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility in the case of an emergency.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
On match days at each stadium, Volunteers will be conducting Customer Satisfaction Surveys on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Match Organisation for Disabled People and People with Limited Mobility. The feedback provided by disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility will ensure future matches are more accessible, as it will help to establish which areas have been successful and which areas need improvement.