Sports: Autism

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 22 September 2022.

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Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Labour, Weaver Vale

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of provisions for autistic children to attend (a) major sporting events and (b) Premier league football games.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

As set out in the National Autism Strategy published in 2021, the government aims to encourage businesses and organisations across the country to take steps to become more autism friendly to help tackle exclusion, loneliness and social isolation. As part of this, we expect sports organisations and major sporting events to do all they can to ensure autistic spectators have the best possible experience.

In 2016, the Premier League, alongside The Shippey Campaign and The Lord’s Taverners, launched a programme to fund sensory rooms in 20 top-flight clubs. These provide a more comfortable and appropriate environment for autistic children to watch football matches. They are in use at several Premier League clubs including Chelsea FC, Manchester City FC and Arsenal FC.

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