Arsenal Football Club has always believed that disability should be no barrier to sport; disability football sessions for visually impaired and deaf children began at the sports centre and continue today and also incorporate sessions for adults with learning difficulties and children with autism.

The programmes began with an event held at the indoor sports hall in 1992 which saw 50 partially sighted young people come together for football coaching with Arsenal in the Community and the organisation British Blind Sport.

Since this time, Arsenal in the Community has forged partnerships with many organisations such as Mencap, National Deaf Children's Society, London Sports Forum and Powerchair Football to make football accessible to all. As a result of Arsenal Football Club's partnership with its former Charity of the Season, TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education, Arsenal funded sports facilities at the organisation's new school in Muswell Hill. As part of the partnership, Arsenal in the Community trainees and staff received specialist training for coaching autistic youngsters and continued to deliver sessions at the school for a further two years to develop an autism specific football coaching resource. In recent months, Arsenal in the Community have run several disability awareness day, aimed at pupils in mainstream schools.

We currently run football sessions for young people aged 6-16 who are visually impaired or deaf/hard of hearing. These sessions take place fortnightly on Sundays in Islington. The deaf/hard of hearing sessions are run in partnership with NDCS (The National Deaf Children's Society)

Thanks to funding from the Premier League - PFA Fund, Arsenal in the Community also deliver a number of weekly sessions for:

· Adults with learning difficulties in partnership with The Islington Elfrida Society
· Young adults with learning difficulties in partnership with the Leighton Project at Camden Elfrida Rathbone
· Pupils at The Bridge Special School in Islington (both Primary and Secondary)
· Pupils at Oak Lodge School for autistic children

Contact: Samir Singh: ssingh@arsenal.co.uk or call 0207 704 4158

Premier League & PFA Community Fund
Premier League and PFA Community Fund
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 7 Jan 2011