A recent poll by the Scottish Disability Equality Forum highlights the discrimination disabled people face when purchasing accessible tickets for events.
A total of 81 per cent of people who completed the poll had experienced difficulties buying accessible tickets for events such as live music, theatre, comedy and sport.
Many ticket companies and venues do not offer an online service for purchasing accessible tickets. Instead, these must be purchased by phone.
A poll respondent explains why this is perceived as discrimination against disabled people:
“I have tried on many occasions to buy accessible tickets to events without success. I have now given up as it’s not worth the stress of phoning a premium-rate booking line that is permanently engaged.
When you eventually get someone on the phone all tickets are sold. My wife usually goes to events on her own because of this inaccessible ticket booking system”
The respondent added:
“Ticket sellers clearly have no concept of equal opportunities, accessibility or disability discrimination.”
Linda Bamford, a Director of Scottish Disability Equality Forum, who has also experienced difficulties purchasing accessible tickets, commented on the results of the poll:
“This is quite an emotive subject for me but reading through the comments it would appear that I am not alone.
It also appears that one of the major ticket organisations (Ticketmaster) is one of the main problems and I would go so far as to say are discriminating against people who require accessible tickets.
I find it hard to read that some people just stay at home and sometimes even their partners just go without them. This is so sad and should not be happening.
I have previously contacted Ticketmaster asking why I can’t book my tickets on-line. The reply being that they have to check you are eligible for an accessible ticket but all they ask, if you ever get through on the phone is, if you are a wheelchair user can you transfer from your chair or do you need to stay in it. This option could easily be selected from a drop down menu and as such allow on-line booking for accessible tickets”
The results of the Scottish Disability Equality Forum poll suggest that far more must be done by ticket companies and venues to improve the ticket system so that disabled people are able to attend live events and book tickets on-line without additional barriers and costs.
Have you experienced problems purchasing accessible tickets for live events? Please get in touch to share your story: firstname.lastname@example.org