July 19, 2017

Lions go extra yard to make home games more Autism friendly

The BC Lions Football Club is the first CFL team to take steps to provide fans on the Autism Spectrum a more comfortable game experience. Partnering with Pacific Autism Family Network to create the GAMECHANGERS program, the two organizations came together to ensure that families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder have a better experience and are able to attend and cheer on their CFL team at all home games at BC Place.

The program gives families who are a part of the Pacific Autism Family Network the opportunity to request tickets and be seated in a thoughtfully selected reserved area, as well as Toolkits for each individual attending with Autism or a related disorder. The Toolkits contain items to make the game more user friendly and include noise cancelling headphones, earplugs, sensory toys and a visual schedule for game day.

As anyone in our organization will tell you, football is all about family,” said Lions VP, Business George Chayka. “We are both proud and honoured to have an opportunity to join with the Pacific Autism Family Network and bring the joy, excitement and fun of BC Lions football to those who would not normally be able to attend games. Our community is stronger when we go the extra yard to be inclusive and the GAMECHANGER program is a perfect example of what we can achieve together.”

Families who are a part of Pacific Autism Family Network, will be notified of upcoming BC Lions home games and given the opportunity to attend as part of the GAMECHANGERS program. Families who attend will be sent their tickets in advance, along with instructions for arrival and a separate visual schedule that supports the lead-up to game day.

There are so many families in BC who unfortunately cannot attend stadium events because it can be too overwhelming for our loved ones with Autism or related disorders,” says Pacific Autism Family Network Co-Founder, Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia. “We have such an incredible community partner in the BC Lions; they truly want to ensure an inclusive and fun experience for everyone.”

To learn more and take part in the GAMECHANGERS program, join the Pacific Autism Family Network by clicking here.