Bristol Bears fully supports the principle of equal opportunities and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability.
The club operates a specific ticketing policy for disabled supporters and will ensure that the scheme does not discriminate between disabled people with differing impairments.
The club recognises that not all of its facilities are fully accessible to disabled customers and confirms that it is committed to making the necessary reasonable adjustments, described by the Equality Act and its relevant codes of practice to ensure full compliance with the legislation.
DEFINITION OF DISABILITY
As a fundamental principle the Equality Act states that disabled people should not be treated "less favourably, without justification" and "reasonable adjustments should be made to make goods, facilities and services accessible".
Bristol Bears aims to comply with both the provisions and spirit of the Equality Act.
For the purposes of this policy only, the definition of a disabled supporter is:- "Any person who, because of their disability or impairment, is unable to use ordinary stand seating without contravening Health and Safety Regulations, Guidelines or Policy or where the club has provided a " reasonable adjustment" to enable that supporter to attend the venue. Any such person will be considered for use of the "designated areas" of the stadium in line with the procedures set out in this policy".
A "reasonable adjustment" in the context should include (but is not limited to), the need to use a wheelchair bay, the need to bring a "personal assistant" for either personal care or safety reasons, or the use of an auxiliary service (e.g. match commentary for blind and partially sighted supporters).
A "designated area" is any area (including specific seats around the stadium) that the club shall, in its sole discretion determine as being available for the disabled ticket price.
A person has a "disability" if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
Bristol Bears reserves the right to request "proof of a disability" before issuing any concession.
Such proof shall include:-
1. Receipt of the medium to high rate Disability Living Allowance (mobility or care component)
2. Receipt of either the Severe Disablement Allowance or Attendance Allowance.
3. A Personal letter from your GP
NB: Proof required may change depending on alterations to current legislation regarding the benefit payments system. Receipt of a Blue badge will not be considered sufficient proof of disability.
CONTACT WITH EXISTING DISABLED SUPPORTERS
Bristol Bears has an open dialogue with its disabled supporters and encourages them to contact the club on a regular basis to discuss facilities and improvements etc.
The club's disability liaison officer is Gareth Torpy, disabled fans can contact Gareth on 0117 963 0600 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club have also undertaken a review of its equality position and have taken due notice of any suggestions/recommendations.
FACILITIES FOR SUPPORTERS USING WHEELCHAIRS
The club has the following accessible positions for supporters who are wheelchair users and, if required, a personal assistant:-
Due to stadium developments the number of wheelchair user spaces has decreased for the 2015/16 season to 58 (48 home, 10 away). The total amount of wheelchair user spaces when the stadium expansion is completed is planned to be 118.
It is the club policy that one helper with any disabled person using a wheelchair receives their admission to the ground free of charge. The wheelchair-user is required to pay the normal wheelchair admission price for that particular game. Season tickets will be available for both the wheelchair-user and their personal assistant.
Please note if the disabled person cannot attend we will only allow a carer access provided they pay for a full price seat.
In conjunction with the proof of disability (as previously mentioned) this concession will only be available to those people who meet the eligibility criteria described below:-
* Wheelchair using applicants must be largely confined to a wheelchair, or not capable of walking a distance further than that required to reasonably and safely access any other part of the stadium.
* Wheelchair using applicants should ideally, also be accompanied by a person who is capable of supporting the disabled person's needs in the event of an emergency. For this reason the club strongly recommend that a person is sixteen years of age or over and not be infirm, but we do support younger family members who are used to acting as a Carer.
FACILITIES FOR BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED SUPPORTERS
The club accommodates blind and partially sighted supporters and if required, their personal assistants within the stadium. The pricing of tickets will be the same as supporters using wheelchairs. (I.e. disability price)
Match commentary is provided via the local hospital radio service. The club have 12 headsets available on request, to receive this commentary. The supporters must ensure that adequate insurance cover is in place for the headset.
Eligibility for this concession requires proof of disability as described previously or each person can provide a copy of their registration document which certifies they are Registered Blind or Registered Partially Sighted or provide qualifying documentation from their optician equivalent to registration requirements.
The club strongly recommends that each blind or partially sighted supporter attending a match should be accompanied by a person who is fully able to support their needs in an emergency.
Guide Dogs are allowed into the stadium but the club insist that supporters with guide dogs contact the club before the match so that we can discuss with them access to the ground, facilities inside the ground and the welfare of the guide dog before, during and after the match.
FACILITIES FOR SUPPORTERS WITH LIMITED MOBILITY
The club recognise that there are considerable numbers of people in the community who use wheelchairs mainly for outdoor mobility purposes but are not necessarily permanent wheelchair users. There are also many people with limited mobility who may wish to watch a match.
For the purposes of this policy and the administration of the concessionary ticketing policy both categories of people will be termed "ambulant disabled supporters" and those supporters with limited mobility of a severe nature will qualify for the concessionary treatment and have access to seating nearest the entrances/exits on request.
Eligibility to these areas will be dependent on providing proof of disability as described previously or will be decided on individual merit.
FACILITIES FOR DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING SUPPORTERS
The club welcomes deaf and hard of hearing supporters and hearing assistance dogs. Ticket staff will usually offer tickets on the end of a row, near the top of either the Dolman or Atyeo stand in order for the dog to sit in the aisle. We kindly request that supporters do not to block the access for other supporters in that row.
FACILITIES FOR SUPPORTERS WITH INFIRMITIES
Supporters with physically restricting medical conditions can sometimes have difficulty in reaching seats in some parts of the stadium.
The club are conscious that these fans, as well as some elderly people, may have difficulty climbing large numbers of steps and therefore are happy to offer alternative seating when required, on request at the ticket office prior to the game
FACILITIES FOR SUPPORTERS WITH AN INTELLECTUAL OR LEARNING DISABILITY
Supporters with an intellectual or learning disability can normally be accommodated in any part of the stadium in normal seating. However if for whatever reason any such supporter feels that ordinary seating would be unsuitable for them, they will be entitled to sit in the disabled concessionary areas and receive the appropriate concession. Tickets should be arranged in advance through the club's ticket office.
The club recognise that disabled people have families who may wish to attend matches as a family unit. The club will try and accommodate such requests although this may not always be possible.
Please contact the ticket office for assistance in obtaining tickets as close as possible to the designated areas.
CAR PARKING FACILITIES
Due to the redevelopment at Ashton Gate, unfortunately the club has no additional parking bays outside of seasonal bays (which have already sold out).
LINES OF SIGHT
The wheelchair viewing areas have unobstructed views of the pitch.
DROP OFF / SET DOWN POINT
There is a drop off/ set down point at the front of the Winterstoke car par. Wheelchairs are available on request. Matchday hosts are also on hand to give assistance. Please notify us when you book your tickets if you would like some help.
Match day catering for wheelchair / ambulant disabled people is provided in the kiosks located near to the wheelchair areas. Counters are equipped with low level access to facilitate ease of use by wheelchair users.
DISABLED PERSON'S TOILETS
The club have provided accessible toilets adjacent to those areas occupied by wheelchair users. Each of the toilets is alarmed.
Accessible toilets are located either end of the Dolman Stand, in the Dolman Hall and Atyeo concourse.
If you experience any problems with the use of the accessible toilets please contact the nearest steward on the day or the club safety officer after the match.
ACCESS TO OTHER FACILITIES
The club has many facilities on match days and non-match days which are not directly linked with actually watching the match. Whilst a number of the facilities are currently accessible the club accept that some areas do present a problem to the disabled. The age and structure of some areas do prevent improvement. Should a disabled fan require specific assistance at a game please inform the Disability Liaison Officer on booking tickets and we will endeavour to provide appropriate help.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE STADIUM
Any future redevelopment of the stadium/new stadium will always be planned taking into account the needs and requirements of the disabled. The club will also liaise with its disabled supporters and NADS to ensure their views are taken into account.
The club's stewards are trained to NVQ Level 2 standard in spectator safety, which includes an equality and diversity module. The club have nominated specific stewards to work in the disability designated areas to assist wherever possible.
Every reasonable adjustment is being made to all the services provided by the different departments at the club in order to comply with the provisions of the Equality Act.
The club's dedicated Disabled Liaison Officer working together with the operations manager has responsibility for overseeing and pushing through disability related issues.
Due to the offering of a concessionary price the club are currently unable to offer disabled supporters the chance to book tickets online but prefer to help supporters over the phone by email or in person.
The contact details for this are:-
1) 0117 963 0600 - Supporter Services
3) In person at the match day ticket office