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'Total Football - Total Access'

A lot of people might ask a question ‘why good access is so important?’.

There are more than 80 million disabled people living in the European Union alone - equivalent to the populations of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and the Netherlands combined. In other words, more than 10% of the population. One in four Europeans has a family member with a disability. Six Europeans out of ten know someone, in their close or more distant circles, who is a disabled person. People with reduced mobility represent more than 40% of the population.

Accessibility is essential for disabled people to be able to exercise their rights and participate fully in society. In fact, in some countries, any lack of access to the built environment is considered a form of discrimination.

Europe is promoting a “Design for All” approach to the built environment so that buildings and public spaces are readily usable by as many people as possible and accessible to all . Despite the diversity in the specific technical solutions, at a functional level disabled people have similar accessibility requirements across Europe.

More and more disabled football supporters wish to travel to football matches and tournaments both at home and abroad. As access improves, more and more disabled people will feel able to attend major tournaments like EURO 2012 alongside their fellow supporters.

By inspiring many more disabled people to attend live matches and to get involved in local volunteering activities, CAFE aims to stimulate social inclusion, encourage interaction between citizens and contribute to intercultural learning and bring to the fore both Europe’s diversity and unity.