The first home league fixture of the season is just a couple of days away and we have now identified all of our customers who have accessible requirements at Tynecastle Park. This will allow Keith Ferguson, the club’s Disability Access Officer, to send out real time information on ticketing and other pieces of news. Our partially sighted/blind fans will see an improvement in the audio descriptive commentary as we relocate our commentators to a more central position with a better view of the action.
The club is always interested feedback from our supporters who are disabled. If you have any points you wish to raise or any accessible questions feel free to contact Keith Ferguson, Disability Access Officer, directly on 07743780913 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Keith is in the Hearts Ticket Office every Tuesday between 9am and 1pm if you prefer to chat in person.
For further information on accessibility at Tynecastle Park, please click here.
July Supporter Meeting
Last month, Keith hosted a Q&A session with supporters in the splendid Hearts Museum. Many thanks to everyone who attended what turned out to be a very worthwhile event, with special thanks to Julie McCrath from DeafAction who provided excellent interpreter support.
Hearts’ fixture against Aberdeen on March 30th saw the club welcome its very first assistance dog into the stadium. Neil Marshall and his dog Arbhair thoroughly enjoyed their match experience and Neil kindly provided some insight into their special relationship.
“I had been diagnosed with PTSD due to incidents which occurred in Bosnia whilst I was an army engineer trying to clear away minefields. My dog was trained by Veterans with Dogs to support someone with PTSD in terms of sleep, being in busy places and keeping to a routine. Training can take up to 18 months and thanks to Arbhair and the support from Heart of Midlothian it was great to get back to cheering on my team after a lengthy absence."
We had another first at the William Hill Scottish Cup semi final as we travelled through with Audio Descriptive Commentary equipment, thus enabling many of our partially sighted/blind fans to go to Hampden and enjoy the match day experience. Thanks to Cameron Conner to Stephen Dixon for providing the match commentary.
The number of fans who are taking advantage of our ADC service is increasing all the time. We would like to thank the Rex Blind Parties organisation for providing the club with two new receivers and headsets free of charge, thereby boosting our stock of equipment. Information regarding this group can be found by visiting http://www.rexblindparties.com/. We also provided this service at the cup final at the end of May.
Lewis Johnston travelled up from Orpington with his mum Karen for the Hibernian game on the 6th April. Lewis required accessible support at the match as well as to and from the stadium. His mum had some positive comments to make about their visit:
"Thank you so much for helping to make it possible for Lewis and myself to visit Tynecastle Park for a match. We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience! We could not have made the trip without the DOA's kind support which went beyond the game including guiding us to and from the stadium. Your DAO customer service and help was amazing and much appreciated.”
2018/19 Q&A Session
The season ended with an Accessible Q&A session held in the Gorgie Suite on 5th June. It was well attended and hosted by Catriona McCallum (Marketing and Communications Director) alongside Mark Waterson (Head of Supporter Experience) with Keith Ferguson, the club's Disability Access Officer. Many issues were discussed in a constructive manner with details due to be published later in the month.