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EFDS seek tenders for access improvement guide resource

EFDS continually seek to provide well-researched, appropriate and user-friendly resources to sport providers, including sports clubs. These support them to provide a welcoming environment for disabled people. Recent resource examples include the online toolkits Diversity Challenge and Inclusive Club Hub To compliment this growing portfolio, EFDS seek to commission a good practice guide for sports providers to improve physical access to sports venues for disabled people.

Ultimately this publication will form part of a range of resources, which will cover topics such as coaching and training, policy and procedures, accessible equipment, engagement with disabled people in sport, inclusive sports events and funding etc.

Resource development

Tenders are sought for the development of a new printed and online resource- A guide to improving the accessibility of sport venues.

Recent research concluded that inaccessible facilities remain one of the main barriers to disabled people’s participation in sport. EFDS Understanding the Barriers to Participation insight suggests that while there are excellent guides available focusing on this area in detail, many are highly technical documents and checklists aimed at facility owners and/or architects.

EFDS wish to offer a resource for sports clubs and other providers to be able to improve physical access for new and existing disabled participants. It should be written for the sports club’s workforce (such as volunteers, coaches, administrators) who may not own the facility - and so are not able to make substantial architectural changes – but who still want to attract disabled participants.     

The guide should:

  • Make generic advice about physical access directly relevant to sports clubs and providers
  • Encourage sports clubs and providers to take practical steps to overcome physical access issues and promote the positive benefits of doing so 
  • Identify and explain key physical access issues likely to be found at a typical local sports provider (eg. club)
  • Outline principles of good practice in overcoming physical access barriers
  • Offer practical and cost-effective ideas – giving ‘top tips’ on HOW to make improvements not just WHAT needs to be done. For example suggesting:
    • Use of alternative entrances or a portable ramp to gain access to a stepped entrance and briefly discussing the pros/cons of different ramp designs
    • Changing round door handles for lever handles for anyone who has limited dexterity and illustrating accessible handle shapes
    • Laying appropriate matting over gravel surfaces to enable safer and easier access for anyone with a mobility impairment and defining characteristics of good matting  
    • Promote thinking out of the box and innovative solutions, alongside tried and tested methods
    • Cover the whole journey through the venue, including the approach to the building, through the building (e.g. club house) and wherever possible training or playing areas
    • Consider a wide range of needs for people with different impairments       
    • Be written in a user-friendly and non-technical manner, appropriate for use by the non-professional workforces
    • Include appropriate case studies, illustrations, imagery and useful links

Please note: This resource is intended to be of use for sports clubs and providers dealing with common themes such as approach and access to the facility, accessible parking, signage, toilets and changing areas etc. At this stage EFDS is not looking to produce an individual sport-by-sport guide to access i.e. access for rowing clubs or access for athletics tracks. However, if individuals/organisations tendering for this resource have knowledge or experience on sport-specific access requirements, EFDS would welcome knowing this information upon tendering. This may be something we look to expand on in the future.


The primary audience for this resource will be the non-professional workforces including volunteers, sport coaches or administrators who are delivering grassroots sport. It is therefore aimed at people who know their sport well, but are likely to know little or nothing about physical access requirements for disabled people… but are keen to know more!  


This will be made available in an accessible format (both pdf and Word) and on our website. It will be used for conferences, training and presentation purposes, as well as being linked to other EFDS resources such as the Inclusive Club Hub.


EFDS require content production only in a Word document (exclusive of final design and printing) and around 25-30 pages. It should include (or attached in final send) graphics, imagery and good practice case studies, as well as the copyright to use any information provided.

EFDS will undertake the final design work and will include recognition of the author including name, full contact details, short overview of organisation and company logo. EFDS will arrange for printing and dissemination.

Further information

EFDS would be happy to discuss this resource with interested parties both before and during the development process.


Jess Cook – National Development Manager - English Federation of Disability Sport

Potential tenderers are invited to submit their proposals (including proposed budget breakdown) and should be sent by email to Jess Cook by 5pm on 26 March 2013.

Shortlisting will take place on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March. All potential tenderers should please be available for a short telephone interview between 11am and 2pm on Thursday 28 March 2013.