Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs)
- DLOs also exist in other areas – such as Universities, so why not have a look at what they do?
- Remember that alongside their specific needs as people, disabled people are the same as any other fan when it comes to the relationship they have with their club
Disability Liaison Officers (DLO) are relatively new to football, and exist in plenty of other spheres, for example, universities, local councils and other statutory (government) and non-statutory organisations.
Two of the best clubs for an explanation of the DLO role are Wrexham AFC, and Burnley FC. Both provide a comprehensive breakdown of the role, and in the case of Wrexham, the positive changes for disabled fans that role has resulted in. Some also have a social media presence (for example, Everton, who have a Disability Liaison Team or Lincoln City) Social Media is of course an excellent way to communicate with all fans, and you can read more about that in the Hub.
DLOs are often part of, or connected with, the SLO team, which is a very sensible idea. This ensures that the experience of disabled fans, though obviously requiring a different set of approaches in some areas, aren’t regarded as entirely distinct from other fans. They will have the same relationship with their club as anyone else.
If you want a more thorough explanation of the role, or want to chat about disabled supporters’, Level Playing Field are an excellent organisation, whose purpose is ‘Promoting a positive, inclusive experience for disabled sports fans.’ They also provide training and ‘CPD’ in a number of related areas.