The Blind Hammer Column

Blind Hammer invites feedback on Accessibility Support at West Ham.

This week will see another meeting of the Disabled Supporters Advisory Board. (DSAB). I sit on this Board to represent and promote the interest of supporters who are blind, visually Impaired and those with hearing impairments. I am, though, like all Board members interested in all aspects of Accessibility. I can try and represent any Accessibility issues raised here.

The DSAB Board provides the club with feedback to improve its services.

Anybody who has positive or negative feedback that they would like me to address can do so by either posting comments below or can email me privately.
To prevent web robots picking up my email address you need to create an email address out of daj.griffith and then add the at gmail.com suffix.

Comments, questions and emails need to reach me by the absolute latest lunchtime on Wednesday 16th January so that I can organise their submission to the Board. Ideally you should send in messages by Tuesday 15th January.

For fuller information about Accessibility at West Ham you can download the West Ham Accessibility Statement from my Sendspace server on https://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/uuiteb
To contact the West Ham Accessibility Team you should call 0333 030 0174 or email accessibility@westhamunited.co.uk

Below is a sketch of some of the services West Ham provides. Specific details and advice should be confirmed with the Accessibility Team.

Accessing Support
Disabled supporters need to register with the Accessibility Team to receive support. This will normally involve providing some evidence of Impairment. Support is also provided for senior citizens, fans with mobility difficulties or temporary injuries and pregnant mothers.

Tickets
Concessionary Tickets are available for Supporters with qualifying Disability. If there is a need for personal assistance in relation to disability the club will normally provide a complementary free second Carer’s ticket.
Support is also provided for Disabled Supporters through a dedicated Ticket Purchase line.

Accessibility Shuttle Bus Service
18 complimentary Accessibility shuttle buses run from Stratford and Stratford International to and from the Stadium. There is also a service for away supporters. Bus permits are available from the Accessibility Team. A permit would also be issued for a personal assistant if required. This is a popular and heavily used service so some queuing is likely but the service does appear to be continually improving. Chairs are now available on request for supporters who need them in the queue.

Car Parking
The Club has limited provision for car parking at the Stadium. 49 accessible parking spaces including six for away supporters have been reserved. Spaces are allocated seasonally and a waiting list is in place.

Drop-off facility
You should contact the Accessibility team to enquire about a pick-up/drop-off facility using a car or Taxi.

*Seating *
There are 253 wheelchair accessible spaces in the stadium. West ham does not set any upper limit to the number of Ambulant Disabled Supporters they will assist.

*Match day Assistance *
Disabled Supporter Assistants (DSA) are on hand to assist supporters before,
During and after the match. DSAs are identifiable as they wear a high visibility pink stewards Vest.

Audio Commentary Service
A free Audio commentary service organised by the “Insightful Irons” is available to all partially-sighted and blind supporters. You should contact the Accessibility Team in advance of a match day if interested for any particular game. Headsets are now available on season long loan for season ticket holders.

Notes on the DSAB
The Board Membership was established by application in 2017. The composition was independently determined by existing Disabled supporters on the main SAB who act as Joint chair. They have attempted to ensure a wide representation of impairment insights but this will be continually reviewed.

This is a brief summary only. Please contact the Accessibility Team or consult the Accessibility Statement for fuller details. If you have any queries and concerns then do not hesitate to also contact me direct either below by comment or privately by email.

COYI
David Griffith