Town committed to supporting those with individual needs
- Today is International Day of People with Disabilities
- Campaign aims to spread awareness that not all disabilities are visible
- Huddersfield Town committed to supporting those with individual needs
Did you know that today, 3 December, is International Day of People with Disabilities?
According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition— and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect.
Created by the United Nations, International Day of People with Disabilities helps to recognize and value the diversity of our communities, and to cherish the role we all play, regardless of our abilities.
The theme this year is that ‘not all disabilities are visible’, and the campaign aims to spread awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders and learning differences, among others.
At Huddersfield Town, we are committed to supporting our employees, prospective employees, supporters and other stakeholders by adjusting and catering for their individual needs, whether related to a disability and/or long-term health condition.
We recognise, however, that often people with a disability do not want to draw attention to themselves or their condition, and that they want to be treated equally with their peers, which sometimes means that they choose not to disclose their disability. In turn, this could mean they are disadvantaged by not having access to help and support that could make a big difference to them.
We are proud to be a ‘Disability Confident Employer’. ‘Disability Confident’ is a Government scheme designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. It is a voluntary scheme and there is no obligation to commit to the standards; however, we feel this scheme is a crucial aspect of our overall aims relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. We are working hard to become a ‘Disability Confident Leader’ by April 2021.
Similarly, we are a ‘Mindful Employer’ and we have signed the Mindful Employer Charter, cementing our commitment to supporting our employees with their mental health and wellbeing.
Disabled people are under-represented in our workforce, in comparison with census data for Kirklees, and we have set ourselves a challenging target to close the representation gap in relation to disability by 2030.
Over the past few years, the Club has taken several steps to ensure we support those with individual needs. For example, we have several staff who have completed Mental Health First Aid training, including Karen Crosland, our Head of Safeguarding, and our ‘Terriers Together’ wristband scheme enables our supporters with hidden disabilities to be discreetly identified to match day stewards and staff, which helps to ensure that their individual needs for access or adjustments can be met.
We’re delighted to share a couple of examples of Town fans who have benefited from the Club’s work in this area!
Stephen Garside, who is member of Town’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion External Advisory Group, commented:
“I am close friends with a family with a boy who has disabilities including ADHD and associated behavioural problems. He attends a local school for children with special educational needs.
“He attends matches as a supporter with disabilities. Huddersfield Town has supported him extensively and provided much needed help for his family. When he takes his designated seat, he is regularly greeted by his favourite players who also keep in touch with him.
“He has accessed support from the Huddersfield Town Foundation who have supported him at school and during holiday times. He has developed a very close link with Foundation staff who have helped him cope at school and have provided an entry point to access the curriculum.
“He was also the subject of a film celebrating his relationship with the Club. He attends nearly all Town matches, home and away; this has provided a framework of support for his family who speak very highly of how this Club has nurtured their son and helped him become a confident and capable young man.”
Berenice Golding, a fellow member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion External Advisory Group, added:
“I’ve always found staff really helpful when asking for added assistance due to health issues within my family. This has involved last minute refunds of transport costs so alternative travel arrangements could be made.
“Additionally, tickets have previously been changed, without issue, to make them more accessible and organising entrance through disability accessible areas for family members who have previously needed it.
“I think the ongoing and developing support for fans with all types of accessibility issues as well as disabilities is great. I am also looking forward to the launch of the additional plans and will be investing further when the schemes are launched.”
For more information on International Day of People with Disabilities, visit idpwd.org.