Club Management Focus: Summer 2014

Facilities for Disabled Bridge Players

The vast majority of EBU affiliated clubs already provide facilities for disabled players, which, of course, we applaud, but we would like to take this opportunity to encourage all of our clubs to provide adequate facilities to cater for as many needs that our disabled players have as possible and encourage those that already provide such facilities to review them and see whether more can be done.

With regards to the ‘Law of the Land’ all clubs must, of course, comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

Discrimination means:

  • treating a disabled person less favourably, for a reason relating to his disability without justification;
  • and/or failing to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments, in circumstances in which the failure makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the disabled person to access or retain membership, retain associate rights, or access club benefits.

This means that a private club cannot treat a disabled person differently because of their disability in any aspect of membership. For example, they cannot be refused membership because they have a guide dog, or because a club thinks that it cannot accommodate them because of their disability.

In terms of the facilities that a club provides for its disabled players we would expect as a minimum that the following be provided:

  • Easy access for wheelchair users and members with other mobility issues
  • Appropriate toilet facilities for disabled members
  • Disabled parking spaces near the club entrance where the club has its own car park
  • Card holders or other equipment to enable disabled members to play bridge as comfortably as possible

In addition, we would recommend that a member of the club committee be tasked with reviewing facilities for disabled players and talking to the club’s disabled members to ask what might be done to make their experience at the club more enjoyable.

We would also like to remind clubs of the regulations in the White Book – section 2.1 – regarding how to accommodate those who have difficulties with the mechanics of the game as it is usually played - The White Book

Andrew Urbanski
EBU Club Liaison Officer
July 2014