To mark World Autism Awareness Week 2019 Swansea City is pleased to announce the club has been successful in securing funding for further sensory equipment.
Through investment from the Premier League and the BT Disability Fund, funding has been secured to support the installation of a mobile sensory room at the Liberty Stadium.
The process is supported and guided by the Shippey Campaign, with the Lord’s Traverners and Experia facilitating the fit-out of the space.
The club aims to launch a new pop-up sensory space available for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) supporters and their families to further enhance the matchday experience.
The introduction of a mobile sensory room is a big step forward for the club, a year on from the launch of the ‘Going to the football’ picture story and the ASD parents’ guide.
The first sensory room at a sports ground was opened during the 2015/16 season by Sunderland. Inspired by and developed in conjunction with the Shippey family, the room enables autistic people to experience football matches in a comfortable environment.
Following the success of the room at the Stadium of Light, BT, the Premier League and The Shippey Campaign began working with clubs to introduce sensory rooms across more stadia.
Swansea City's safeguarding and disability access officer Mark Phillips said: "As a club, we are delighted be able to offer a pop-up sensory room for families and individuals who previously felt unable to attend live football.
"With the support of the Disabled Supporters' Association (DSA), schools, charities and the Community Trust (through their Enterprise Project) we have gradually added new facilities and initiatives to help remove these barriers.
"These experiences have been invaluable in raising awareness with staff and supporters, a sensory room is the next step in our journey”.
DSA chair Andrew Brayley added: “The DSA is very pleased that the club will now be providing a pop-up sensory room having highlighted the requirement for this service at the stadium and instigated talks with the club from early 2017.
"A sensory room is a calming space, which can help people who get frustrated and anxious in understanding their surroundings. The sensory room is designed to be a relaxing, calming, quiet space, with various stimuli which can help a person relax and de-escalate.
"The sensory room will allow the inclusion of families with a member who has ASD to enjoy football as a shared activity and be a part of the Jack Army.
"We look forward to continuing to work with the club, donating equipment on behalf of the DSA and helping promote the sensory room.”
Ahead of the launch of this new service, the Swans would like to invite ASD supporters and their families to a consultation meeting to discuss the sensory room proposal, and to provide advice and feedback.
Supporters Interested in attending the consultation meeting are advised to contact [email protected] for more details.
For more information on ASD facilities and our downloadable Picture Story Guide, as well as an ASD Parent or Carer Guide visit: Disabled Supporters
For more Information on The Shippey Campaign click: HERE