The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) is committed towards hosting the most accessible World Cup ever, said Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of SC.
“People with disabilities will be some of the most important beneficiaries of the legacy left behind by Qatar 2022. The transformation which Qatar’s infrastructure has witnessed to host this tournament will, without doubt, mean a more accessible country for everyone to thrive in and enjoy,” Al Thawadi said.
The SC launched its Accessibility Forum in 2015 to consult local stakeholders and those with disabilities. The aim of the forum is to deliver a barrier-free visitor experience for all, and support FIFA, Q22 and SC in providing equal opportunities in an inclusive, accessible environment.
Further, the community platform helps people with disabilities to actively participate in setting priorities and in testing the accessibility of various components of the fan experience, including tournament venues.
The forum recently organized a visit to Qatar 2022 Al Rayyan Stadium, which will host the Amir Cup final between Al Sadd and Al Arabi on 18th December. The forum members, during their visit, toured the stadiums accessibility features including seating, changing rooms, bathrooms, concession stands and emergency exit. Further, they discussed the potential areas of improvement.
Sensory rooms have been installed in several stadiums to create accessible experience for those with autism. The rooms have noise cancellation, mood lighting, soft furnishings, relaxing music and brightly coloured sensory toys and equipment.
These features have been designed to manage a person’s anxiety and allow them and their families and friends to watch football matches in a welcoming, calming and inclusive environment. They will be available in the forthcoming FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020.
Speaking on this, the SC Access & Inclusivity Strategist, Mark Dyer, said “We are proud of our collaborative efforts with FIFA and Q22 towards including people with disabilities at every step of the process to prepare for the tournament which is key to ensuring that stadiums and other key facilities are tried and tested by those who will use them. We believe in the principle of nothing about us, without us and that is central to all of our work.”
Mark Dyer further said that through the Accessibility Forum, the plan is to engage key stakeholders in Qatar who are responsible for some important touchpoints of the user journey when fans with disabilities come to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup.