Accessibility Discussed at IAKS Congress

Yesterday, the 20th International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) Congress was officially opened in Cologne, Germany. Amongst congress participants from all over the world, Fritz Schramma, Lord Mayor of Cologne, Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, President of IAKS attened the Opening. 01 Nov 2007 By IPC

One of the topics being presented and discussed at the Conference was ‘Accessible sports facilities: Key to design, efficient operation and customer satisfaction’. IPC’s Accessibility Experts Mark Todd (Great Britain), Nick Morris (Australia) and Brad Mc Cannell (Canada) as well as Dena Coward, Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games Director, Apostolos Rigas, IPC Head of Paralympic Strategic Projects and Sir Philip presented their views on accessibility and its realization at Olympic and Paralympic Games to around 70 session participants.

The Congress is also being held in conjunction with the ‘Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities’ international trade fair (FSB), which runs from 31 October to 2 November and will bring together over 15,000 specialists in the design, construction and management of sport and leisure facilities from all over the world.

Furthermore, as part of the 2007 IOC/IAKS Award for Exemplary Sports & Leisure Facilities organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and IAKS, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and IAKS presented again the IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility. The seven winners are outstanding examples of the way in which sporting facilities can provide a positive atmosphere and experience for all users. The IPC/IAKS Distinction recognizes the world’s best accessible sports and leisure facilities and aims to promote accessibility to sports facilities and other buildings in order to give persons with a disability the opportunity to practise or view sport without limitation or barriers. 2007 is the second time that the IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility has been awarded.

For more information about the winners, please see the official IAKS website at

Before the Conference, the IPC held a two-day working group meeting with its accessibility experts in Bonn, Germany, to discuss and refine the IPC Technical Manual on Accessibility Standards. It was the second meeting thereof after the inaugural get together in November 2005.