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CAFE bid to improve accessibility in Ukraine

The Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) has been busy auditing the accessibility of public places around stadiums and fan zones in Ukraine's UEFA EURO 2012 host cities.

CAFE bid to improve accessibility in Ukraine
CAFE bid to improve accessibility in Ukraine ©Getty Images

As part of the official UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion – Football with No Limits project, the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) and its local implementing partner, the National Assembly of Disabled People in Ukraine, are conducting audits on the accessibility of public places within a 1.5 km radius of the stadiums as well as in the fan zones of all the host cities.

This includes hotels, cafes, restaurants, banks and other venues that will be visited by fans and participants at UEFA EURO 2012, including people with disabilities. A pool of volunteers have been trained to carry out these audits and advise business owners on how to improve access to their venues for disabled people and other potential beneficiaries, including pregnant women, young children, older people, people with physical injuries and many others.

In Donetsk, one of the four Ukrainian EURO host cities, senior students of the Donbass Academy of Construction and Architecture were involved in the successful implementation of the project. Their participation provided important practical experience and, significantly, offered the lesson that universal design and accessibility are crucial for the architecture of the future, which should be comfortable, inclusive and accessible for all.

One of the volunteers, Andrey Anisimov, shared his impressions when he said: "I think we are lucky to volunteer for this project which has provided us with a unique opportunity to practise and to meet so many joyful and creative disabled people who are making this world more contemporary and comfortable for themselves and other people."

More than 50 students took part in the project and their cooperation ensured the swift completion of high-quality audits in the city as they looked at some 500 venues on the main fan routes.

Information about accessible venues is available at invatourism.org.ua in Ukraine, www.polandnolimits.eu in Poland, and euro2012.cafefootball.eu as a central hub for all European fans.