[AI] World Cup in South Africa: special arrangements for blind and visually impaired spectators

George Abraham george at eyeway.org
Tue Jun 8 22:17:05 EDT 2010

Page Headline: FIFA World Cup live action for blind and visually impaired 
football fans
(FIFA.com) Tuesday 8 June 2010
Getty Images
Blind and visually impaired fans will be able to enjoy a special live-match 
experience at the 2010 FIFA World CupT in South Africa. Six stadiums will 
each have 15 seats equipped with headphones, and trained commentators will 
report live on the action happening down on the pitch. In addition, each of 
these six stadiums will have 15 seats that will be allocated to their 
sighted guides who will accompany them, while specially trained volunteers 
will provide assistance within the stadiums. This is a premier in South 
Africa's sporting landscape.

The initiative, launched by the Swiss National Association for the Blind 
(SNAB) and the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) and 
financially supported by FIFA, is aimed at making the tournament accessible 
to all. FIFA Partner Sony is providing the necessary transmitters that will 
allow people to receive match-day commentary in the stadiums free of charge. 
The SANCB is ensuring that the tickets are fairly allocated and only a very 
limited number of tickets are still available for 19 matches via .www.
Link 44: sancb.org.za .

"Football is a universal sport and it must be accessible to everyone. We are 
therefore delighted to be able to make this unique live experience in the 
stadium also accessible to visually impaired and blind people. This project 
is another launching pad for South African sports and will create a legacy 
with services and facilities at football grounds for visually impaired and 
blind South Africans," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.

The Institute of Advancement of Journalism was responsible for sourcing, 
training and coordinating the audio descriptors, while the Academy of Sound 
Engineering students will perform the technical audio functions that will be 
necessary to ensure that the audio descriptions are correctly transmitted to 
the visually impaired fans at the stadiums.

The stadiums offering this service are:

Johannesburg - Soccer City Stadium: 8 matches
Johannesburg - Ellis Park Stadium: 7 matches
Tshwane/Pretoria - Loftus Versfeld Stadium: 6 matches
Durban - Durban Stadium: 7 matches
Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium: 8 matches
Cape Town - Green Point Stadium: 8 matches

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