The 2019 Solheim Cup will be the most inclusive edition of the event ever, with the introduction of a new autism-friendly quiet room, as well as a host of other initiatives.
The biggest event in women’s golf officially begins today [Thursday] at Gleneagles in Perthshire and organisers are making sure the tournament offers a warm welcome to all. People on the autism spectrum are being paid special attention with a separate area, away from the buzz of the competition, provided and autism awareness training for volunteers and key public facing staff. The quiet room is just one of several steps taken to make the event inclusive.
In the UK one-in-five people are disabled and while 8% are wheelchair users, there are 70% with invisible disabilities. And studies show that 54% of people with access requirements will avoid businesses and events if they can’t find accessibility information.
The 2019 Solheim Cup will offer disabled spectators who require a carer to assist them one free carer ticket to the event. Specially trained access buddies will also be available to provide specific help to people with limited mobility, sensory impairment, older spectators, people on the autism spectrum and those who just need a little bit of extra help to find their way about.
Free to hire mobility scooters, enhanced accessible toilets, a dedicated blue badge holder car park, viewing platforms for wheelchair users and more will all be provided at the tournament.
Paul Ralph, Access and Inclusion Director at Euan’s Guide, said: “We were delighted to be asked to feed into the 2019 Solheim Cup’s accessibility programme. For us, this demonstrates an understanding of the importance of co-creating events with disabled people involved in the process. We would like to see more events and businesses follow the 2019 Solheim Cup’s example by working with disabled people and making attractions and activities accessible for all.”
Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “The 2019 Solheim Cup promises to be a fantastic event for all the family and it is wonderful to have the event so focused on providing a world class experience for everyone. The extra measures the team are taking are exemplary and we know that visitors with disabilities and additional needs appreciate events and tourism businesses considering their requirements so that they can be as inclusive as possible. Sharing that message is a top priority for VisitScotland.”