Aston Villa promises Changing Places and sensory room installation

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Championship side Aston Villa is to invest in a full Changing Places facility and a sensory room after a petition began early last month.

The club’s Disabled Supporters Association (AVDSA) confirmed a promise from the club over the supply of the facilities in the future.

AVDSA launched a petition in early October to show the support for a Changing Place and have one added into planned improvements at Villa Park to ensure the club has the required number of disabled spaces along with other necessary facilities.

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If the club is promoted into the Premier League it will also have to comply with the promise it signed up for in the Accessible Stadia Guidance. The deadline for this was in August and many top clubs are still yet to make good on their promise, attracting criticism and even legal threats.

The Changing Places facility will need to specify a height-adjustable changing bench, a hoist, a shower, a toilet and a sink.

It is estimated that more than 250,000 people in the UK cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people. There are increasingly calls for large organisations to invest in solutions like Changing Places.

AVDSA confirmed that it had had a meeting with the club’s CEO who has “assured that are going ahead with the building of a sensory room and Changing Place”. The CEO said the club has had architects in to see where the installations are best placed.

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