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andrew

St Johnstone Disabled Supporters Association

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While the national group has apparently somewhat lost its way (the recent AGM was more ‘descends into chaos’ than maintaining its focus) the St Johnstone Disabled Supporters Association continues to make good progress.
When we started four years ago we met every month. Last season we met every two months and this coming season we will be meeting quarterly.
This is a clear measure of success (if we resolved everything we wouldn’t need a group at all) demonstrated by some of what we have achieved below. We have done our “job” well and our club have responded positively in so many ways.
Here are some examples:
Ramp at club shop.
Servery orders taken from and delivered to seats to remove need to negotiate doors, queues and areas of limited space.
Allocated spaces for wheelchair season ticket holders.
Allocated and/or prearranged parking.
Radar locks on some disabled toilets and all seven disabled toilets have emergency pull cords.
Non-reflective glass to be installed at ticket office.
New audio equipment acquired allowing those requiring commentary to sit anywhere in the stadium. Previously there were only some seats with sockets beside them.
Away bus parking improved at national level - a St Johnstone DSA initiative - no more having to walk up to half a mile on cold and wet winter nights for disabled or elderly folk.
Seating provided to enable a personal assistant to sit next to the person they accompany, not behind or in front.
Improved signage around McDiarmid Park.
Awareness training conducted with staff - an ongoing exercise.
McDiarmid Park has received positive reviews on Euan’s Guide and other web sites dealing with accessibility.
The group has had a great insight into the various roles within our club, with guests having included: chairman, manager, Paul Smith, groundsman, physio, club poet, hospital radio, players, ex-players, ticket office staff, police, club chaplain, and more. Our guests are invited to stay for the whole meeting and most of them left with a greater understanding of what it is like to attend football matches as a supporter with a disability.
We have established excellent working relationships within the club, treating everyone with respect, and have achieved everything without constitution, committee, office bearers or money - our only rule being “no moaning!”
Our thanks go to the chairman, to Paul Smith and to Bev, the latter being our main club contact and great ally!
We are grateful to the club for providing an accessible room for us to hold our meetings.
All of this also benefits the club who could not be accused of failing in their duty to accommodate disabled spectators in accordance with the Equality Act. On the contrary the club can point to all they have done, and continue to do, as proof they are proactively and positively engaging with disabled supporters in keeping with the spirit of the aforementioned legislation.

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9 hours ago, andrew said:

While the national group has apparently somewhat lost its way (the recent AGM was more ‘descends into chaos’ than maintaining its focus) the St Johnstone Disabled Supporters Association continues to make good progress.
When we started four years ago we met every month. Last season we met every two months and this coming season we will be meeting quarterly.
This is a clear measure of success (if we resolved everything we wouldn’t need a group at all) demonstrated by some of what we have achieved below. We have done our “job” well and our club have responded positively in so many ways.
Here are some examples:
Ramp at club shop.
Servery orders taken from and delivered to seats to remove need to negotiate doors, queues and areas of limited space.
Allocated spaces for wheelchair season ticket holders.
Allocated and/or prearranged parking.
Radar locks on some disabled toilets and all seven disabled toilets have emergency pull cords.
Non-reflective glass to be installed at ticket office.
New audio equipment acquired allowing those requiring commentary to sit anywhere in the stadium. Previously there were only some seats with sockets beside them.
Away bus parking improved at national level - a St Johnstone DSA initiative - no more having to walk up to half a mile on cold and wet winter nights for disabled or elderly folk.
Seating provided to enable a personal assistant to sit next to the person they accompany, not behind or in front.
Improved signage around McDiarmid Park.
Awareness training conducted with staff - an ongoing exercise.
McDiarmid Park has received positive reviews on Euan’s Guide and other web sites dealing with accessibility.
The group has had a great insight into the various roles within our club, with guests having included: chairman, manager, Paul Smith, groundsman, physio, club poet, hospital radio, players, ex-players, ticket office staff, police, club chaplain, and more. Our guests are invited to stay for the whole meeting and most of them left with a greater understanding of what it is like to attend football matches as a supporter with a disability.
We have established excellent working relationships within the club, treating everyone with respect, and have achieved everything without constitution, committee, office bearers or money - our only rule being “no moaning!”
Our thanks go to the chairman, to Paul Smith and to Bev, the latter being our main club contact and great ally!
We are grateful to the club for providing an accessible room for us to hold our meetings.
All of this also benefits the club who could not be accused of failing in their duty to accommodate disabled spectators in accordance with the Equality Act. On the contrary the club can point to all they have done, and continue to do, as proof they are proactively and positively engaging with disabled supporters in keeping with the spirit of the aforementioned legislation.

Great job ,well done. Onwards & upwards.

 

Do you get the room for free ?. Stevie missing a trick there :laugh:.

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28 minutes ago, Cagey said:

Great job ,well done. Onwards & upwards.

 

Do you get the room for free ?. Stevie missing a trick there :laugh:.

Thanks Cagey. We “have achieved everything without constitution, committee, office bearers or money.......”

See what can be achieved without a chairman ;)

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great stuff. Well done to the supporters and the club for making these things happen.

I'm doing a lot of consultation at the moment with parents/carers of children with SEND, and it's been an eye-opener. 

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Notes from tonight's meeting.

***SJDSA Meeting***

Thursday 28 February 2019

Joe Shaughnessey, club captain at St Johnstone was our guest.

It was a great opportunity to hear about Joe’s career and thoughts about playing for Saints and to be able to ask him questions, albeit we left the obvious one out!

We covered things like Joe’s career, how a dressing room works, the role of club captain, the effect of losing players to injury or other clubs, what it’s like as a young player, the role of agents, how referees handle matches and much more.

Linsey has provided a more permanent player of the year trophy and Ken will setup a poll on our Facebook group for voting.

St Mirren required proof of disability dated within a year. SFA licence DAO’s and are beginning to look at these type of things and to move towards a universal policy within the game. Hopefully we will eventually see a game-wide approach begin to develop, but I won’t hold my breath.

SDSA update given, the organisation has gone quiet and looks to be coming near to an end, probably superseded by the DAO group.

Colin mentioned lights not working on walkway out of stadium car park but electrical work may be happening.

Bev, as ever, is working hard on organising the CAFE day/week of action. Look out for more information as 16 March approaches.

Please come along to meetings if you can!  All members, non members, personal assistants and advocates are welcome!

Actually we have been so successful, and the club so accommodating, that last night we had little or nothing in the way of issues to discuss. A strong measure of our success as a group is that once again our guest took up all of our time.

The room is booked for the following dates 30 May (the last Thursday of the month).

This season we are holding quarterly meetings as we have achieved many of our aims. It is possible to continue our work with fewer meetings.

I suggested we encourage participation in the group and attendance at meetings where possible.

We shall ensure this Facebook group page is updated with details of what we are discussing.

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9 hours ago, andrew said:

Notes from tonight's meeting.

***SJDSA Meeting***

Thursday 28 February 2019

Joe Shaughnessey, club captain at St Johnstone was our guest.

It was a great opportunity to hear about Joe’s career and thoughts about playing for Saints and to be able to ask him questions, albeit we left the obvious one out!

We covered things like Joe’s career, how a dressing room works, the role of club captain, the effect of losing players to injury or other clubs, what it’s like as a young player, the role of agents, how referees handle matches and much more.

Linsey has provided a more permanent player of the year trophy and Ken will setup a poll on our Facebook group for voting.

St Mirren required proof of disability dated within a year. SFA licence DAO’s and are beginning to look at these type of things and to move towards a universal policy within the game. Hopefully we will eventually see a game-wide approach begin to develop, but I won’t hold my breath.

SDSA update given, the organisation has gone quiet and looks to be coming near to an end, probably superseded by the DAO group.

Colin mentioned lights not working on walkway out of stadium car park but electrical work may be happening.

Bev, as ever, is working hard on organising the CAFE day/week of action. Look out for more information as 16 March approaches.

Please come along to meetings if you can!  All members, non members, personal assistants and advocates are welcome!

Actually we have been so successful, and the club so accommodating, that last night we had little or nothing in the way of issues to discuss. A strong measure of our success as a group is that once again our guest took up all of our time.

The room is booked for the following dates 30 May (the last Thursday of the month).

This season we are holding quarterly meetings as we have achieved many of our aims. It is possible to continue our work with fewer meetings.

I suggested we encourage participation in the group and attendance at meetings where possible.

We shall ensure this Facebook group page is updated with details of what we are discussing.

Keep up the good work Andrew.

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