Last weekend, on the 16th and 17th November, I presented at the Estadio San Mames, Bilbao for the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) - it was their third International CAFE Conference titled ‘Total Football Total Access’.
The International CAFE Conference brought together stakeholders from across football and beyond, discussing improved access and inclusion in and around the game. Experts, including representatives from UEFA, FIFA, national associations, leagues and clubs joined with Disability Access Officers, disabled fans and their groups, equality non-government organisations and many other stakeholders, plus more than 600 viewers tuned in via live stream!
CAFE’s key aim is to promote a game that is accessible, inclusive and welcoming for all. They believe that everyone within football has a duty to ensure people with disabilities are able to take their rightful places within the game, as spectators, players, volunteers, coaches, administrators, leaders and decision makers.
My talk, entitled ‘Technology – the power and the promise’, covered the tech of today across a wide range of platforms and impairments, as well as the fantastic tech of tomorrow that has the potential to make it a truly inclusive future for football fans regardless of ability. We also looked at a few choice examples of good and bad practice within football and other all-seated venue websites. It was great to be a part of such a brilliant event and I look forward to the next one in three years time… in whichever amazing European football venue it will be hosted!