Joe Skinner is a BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student at UCFB. He has a condition called Cerebral Palsy and uses an electric wheelchair. Here, Burnley fan Joe shares his experiences with us on access as a wheelchair user for UK Disability History Month, which is running until December 20th

Disabled access within society is a huge passion of mine, as it is an issue I have faced on many occasions. As a 21-year-old male, I strive on a daily basis to lead the life that I want to lead. My main passions in life are football and music, I love attending gigs and following Burnley FC home and away!


Sometimes doing the things I love can be difficult though, through no fault of my own. For example, there have been many times when I have been unable to go to the pub to see a local band because it has no accessible entry point.

Festivals are also virtually a no-go area for disabled people in wheelchairs due to adverse weather conditions and lack of preparation by the organisers. I found this out when attending The Courteeners gig at Heaton Park in June 2019, where I had to get assistance from others to get to the viewing platform due to the heaps of mud on the ground.

In a footballing sense I have also had to sit in the home end as an away supporter on a few occasions due to the lack of disabled facilities in the stadium. As a result of these issues that disabled people face, I started a petition in 2019 to improve disabled access in the UK which gained over 5,000 signatures. I have also delivered a speech on BT Sport and to MPs in Parliament on this subject.


The organisers of UK Disability History Month have posed the question: How far have we come with access, and how far can we go? Well in answer to that question we have come far in areas such as awareness on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Many disabled people have also created their own blogs highlighting accessible venues and places to visit. A good example of this is Euan’s Guide which I highly recommend! Disabled people now have a platform to highlight the issues we sometimes face so that future generations hopefully don’t have to deal with these problems.

In my opinion all it takes is communication and knowledge on the subject to eradicate these issues, and if we can continue to educate ourselves as a society then we are onto a winner!