Promotion of accessibility in sports facilities


Niina Kilpelä and Aija Saari


A2. Designing for cities and public arenas

Date and Time

2014-06-16, 15:05 - 15:25


MA 9
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Design Case

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Short oral presentation


This paper is based on findings from accessibility projects of the Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities, funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and executed in co-operation with disability organizations during 2009–2013. The purposes of the projects were to evaluate accessibility of sports facilities, collect sports specific accessibility information and develop existing accessibility information as well as accessibility audit methods in sports facilities. National accessibility legislation does not adequately recognize accessibility needs of people with sensory impairments and of various disability-specific sports. Problems of access are usually interpreted as problems of wheelchair users only. Inaccessible sports facilities are a barrier not only to sports participation, but also to employment of people with disabilities. Accessibility must be observed comprehensively as an integral concept related to moving, seeing, hearing, and understanding. There is a need for co-operation between the disability sport actors, disability advocates, accessibility specialists, architects, designers, builders and developers. Disability sports related accessibility research is needed to provide both reliable and solid data for future planning and development.