CEO at Sight Support Derbyshire

Claire Winfield was appointed as the CEO at Sight Support Derbyshire in January 2013.  Claire joins us from the Royal Air Forces Association where she worked as the Director of Welfare.

 

Sight commentary for blind and partially sighted people

Soccer Sight was an RNIB project which aimed to bring quality football commentary to blind and partially sighted people at every professional football club in the UK. RNIB received support from The HBOS Foundation, We are V Youth Volunteering charity, the Football Foundation and the BBC to achieve this. From the 1 April 2009 the Soccer Sight project was transferred to our Associate partner Action for Blind People to manage. However, there is no longer any external funding to run the project and as such we are now only responding to enquiries from clubs needing help and advice as to how they can best cater for blind and partially sighted people attending their grounds and requiring a commentary.

Commentary is needed to improve access to football for thousands of blind and partially sighted supporters. It gives them the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful game, in the stadium, as it happens.

We have developed training sessions to provide volunteer commentators which we can offer to football clubs as well as advice and if you are interested in being a commentator or are from a club looking for help please contact Eleanor Ellison - RNIB Senior Development officer Telephone 01273 262221 or email eleanor.ellison@rnib.org.uk

Ash Medley is one of Soccer Sight's  volunteer comentators at Derbys County Football Club. Click here to hear a sample of one of his commentaries.

Hazel Dudley, 56, is blind and a season ticket holder at Liverpool FC. "I watch games at clubs all around the country. My husband, who is also blind, does the same supporting Arsenal. We have no doubt that the standard of commentary for people with sight problems needs to improve. Currently standards are either non-existent, poor quality or biased in favour of the home club. Good commentary for blind supporters is long overdue. Having it would encourage more blind people to go to football matches."

New Soccer Sight guide for football clubs
RNIB and Soccer Sight have produced a guidance document to help football clubs ensure that their grounds, services and facilities are accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

The guide has been produced following the experience and work of the Soccer Sight team and the guidance reviews:

• commentary services
• DDA guidelines
• signage
• printed information
• website design
• guide dogs provision

The major section on providing a commentary service details all aspects of provision including, recruiting and training commentators, equipment and management.

The document clearly states the responsibilities of stadium officials and details the correct procedures for safety within the stadium.

The Soccer Sight Guide (Word 115KB) is a useful guidance tool for all stadium managers whether it is a sporting or concert venue, and is the first of a new series of documents being produced by the RNIB Soccer Sight project to help stadium managers make their venues more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

The clubs
New radio transmission equipment and headsets have been installed at the following clubs:

• Arsenal
• Brighton and Hove Albion
• Bristol City
• Brentford
• Cardiff City
• Derby County
• Doncaster Rovers
• Exeter City
• Fulham
• Gillingham
• Halifax Town
• Hereford United
• Huddersfield Town
• Ipswich Town
• Nottingham Forest
• Notts County
• Norwich City
• Peterborough United
• Plymouth Argyle
• Sheffield Wednesday
• Swansea City
• Swindon Town
• Torquay United
• Watford
• Yeovil Town

Find out more about audio description in sport by contacting:

Eleanor Ellison
Cultural Inclusion Services
RNIB Wavertree House
Somerhill Road
Hove
BN3 1RN
Tel: 01273 26 22 21
Email: Eleanor.ellison@rnib.org.uk
Contact: leisure@rnib.org.uk

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