It’s not enough to consider the needs of disabled people – they need to be involved in creating standards, because they’re the experts on what they need.
The Disabled Expert Reference Group, or DERG, makes that happen. It comprises registered disabled people who also have expert knowledge in a particular area from a consumer’s point of view.
These volunteers may be assigned to particular committees working on new standards that will affect disabled people, for example guidance on access to lifts, where they use their experience to influence the evolving standards. Sometimes the group is asked to give their views on a particular issue, and are able to give an authoritative response.
"Theres no doubt that implementing standards has enabled more people with disabilities to enjoy their match day experience. What we’ve found is that when there are good facilities, people will come". Phil Downs, Manchester United's disability liaison officer (DLO) and chairman of the National Association of Disabled Supporters (NADS).