When you check the ticket brochure for an upcoming event, sports, game, or concert, you may find various ticket categories.
They are usually categorized by their prices, importance of personalities, and accessible and non-accessible seating arrangements. Event organizers have been encouraged to always make wheelchair-accessible seats for people with disabilities to also attend.
Wheelchair-accessible seat tickets are always made available to the general public. Since event organizers are not required to ask for proof of a disability from buyers, a non-handicapped person can purchase such tickets.
However, the event organizers may enforce the use of the tickets by qualified persons during the event.
Table of Contents
- What Makes Up a Wheelchair Accessible Seat?
- Persons Eligible to Buy a Wheelchair Accessible Seat Ticket
- Conditions Where an Event Planner May Sell a Wheelchair Accessible Seat to a Non-Handicapped Person
- The Use of Transferred Tickets
- What to do When You Buy a Wheelchair Accessible Seat Ticket
What Makes Up a Wheelchair Accessible Seat?
A wheelchair-accessible seat is a 3 feet wide space that accommodates persons using a wheelchair. Occupants of this space can enjoy the view of the event just like every other spectator. The aisle leading to the space is also designed to allow easy movement of wheelchairs.
Wheelchair-accessible seats often come with a seat reservation for the companion of the disabled individual. The seats and that of the companions are usually at the same price as the non-accessible seats in that section.
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Persons Eligible to Buy a Wheelchair Accessible Seat Ticket
Although organizers are disallowed from requesting doctors’ reports of disabilities from disabled persons, they may ask intending buyers questions about having any disability before selling tickets to them.
You must fit into one of the categories listed below before you can be eligible to buy a wheelchair-accessible seat ticket.
1) A Handicapped Person
Handicapped persons are the most eligible persons on the list. They include people with outward disabilities and internal health problems. As long as one uses a wheelchair, one can purchase a wheelchair-accessible seat.
2) A Companion of a Handicapped Person
There’s usually provision for one to three companions to join a handicapped person in a wheelchair-accessible seat. If a handicapped person is among a clique who wishes to buy a special category of tickets, then every other person in the clique can join the handicapped person in the accessible seat. The clique may have to be split if the space can’t accommodate everyone or other disabled persons in the accessible seat simultaneously.
3) A Representative of a Handicapped Person
This category includes people who have to purchase a wheelchair-accessible seat ticket for the handicapped person. After buying the ticket, you must transfer ownership to the handicapped person.
Event organizers will allow you to buy this kind of ticket for a friend or family member, provided you won’t be reselling it to make a profit.
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Conditions Where an Event Planner May Sell a Wheelchair Accessible Seat to a Non-Handicapped Person
There are some conditions where an event organizer will make wheelchair-accessible seat tickets available to everyone. Below are some of the conditions.
1) Filled Spaces in a Section
Some event centers are designed in a way that every section has wheelchair-accessible seats. This arrangement aligns with the need for equal treatment of both handicapped and non-handicapped persons. Any treatment given to occupants of a section will equally affect people occupying the accessible and non-accessible seats in the section.
However, there are cases where the accessible seats in a section remain unsold. Instead of leaving the space vacant, the event organizer may sell the ticket to non-handicapped persons.
2) Filled Spaces in a Price Category
Event tickets are often divided into various price ranges. These price ranges are also made to include both accessible and non-accessible seats. In a situation where the non-accessible seats in a price category are filled up, the event organizer may decide to sell tickets for the wheelchair-accessible seats to non-handicapped persons.
3) Filled Spaces in all Non-Accessible Seats
Event organizers may sell wheelchair-accessible seats to non-handicapped persons when all non-accessible seats are sold out. This action is to allow maximum turnover of profits.
However, event organizers are not obligated to sell available wheelchair-accessible seat tickets to non-handicapped persons. It’s at the discretion of the event organizers to do so.
The Use of Transferred Tickets
Disabled persons are usually permitted to transfer their tickets to non-handicapped persons. However, this doesn’t permit you to buy wheelchair-accessible seat tickets through a handicapped person. Also, note that the event organizer can exchange your seat with someone in a wheelchair who needs it most in such a scenario.
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What to do When You Buy a Wheelchair Accessible Seat Ticket
As a non-disabled person, if you realize that the ticket you’ve bought is a wheelchair-accessible seat ticket, it will be unfair to go ahead to use it. You may end up depriving someone of the opportunity of attending the event. Such a mistake may be from the event organizers or unawareness from your end, and there are ways to go about it.
1) Request for a Change
As soon as you notice a mistake in the type of ticket given to you, contact the event organizers to change it. Even if you intentionally got the wheelchair-accessible seat ticket, explain to the organizers, and they will gladly change it for you.
If contacting the event organizers proves difficult, attend the event with the ticket and complain while checking in. You will be given a non-accessible seat equivalent to the ticket you have.
2) Gift a Disabled Person
If the event organizers refuse to change the ticket, you should consider gifting a disabled person who wishes to attend the event. This gesture could be an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face.
3) Exchange with a Fellow Attendee
There may be a disabled person around the event vicinity with a non-accessible seat ticket. If you are lucky to find one, exchange yours with the person.
4) Count it as a Loss
If the other options yield no positive result, you have to count it as a loss, especially if you caused the mix-up. Purchase another ticket if you can and take extra measures to prevent such a mistake from happening again. Don’t deny a disabled person the opportunity of attending the event because of your mistakes.