Everton in the Community’s disability project was the first targeted programme that Everton in the Community delivered to deal with a social issue in the local community.
Research by Sport England show that disabled people do not have the same sports and physical opportunities as their non-disabled peers enjoy, something which Everton in the Community’s disability programme has looked to combat since its launch in 2000.
Funded by both the Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association, the Club's official charity is proud to have the largest and most respected disability football programme in the world, with dozens of football opportunities for disabled children and adults delivered each year, engaging in excess of 200 adults per week and over 400 disabled children and young people each year.
The programme also offers competitive opportunities for 13 pan-disability and specific impairment teams for children and adults that are available to both males and females. Resulting from this, over 40 players have been selected to represent their country.
Disability Development manager Steve Johnson, World Amputee Footballer of the year in 1999, was inducted into the Football 'Hall of Fame' in 2008 for his services to amputee football.
The programme received new funding from the PLPFA and Children in Need from September 2014.
By engaging with disabled people through several different ways, the projects looks to empower disabled people into taking an active part in everyday mainstream society.
The programme also works closely with Everton Disability Supporters Association in to support disabled people in our community and the wider fan base to promote the services and facilities available to them via the Club’s official charity and its official disabled supporters club.