The Ticket Factory has been hailed for its work in improving the ticket-buying process and event attendance for disabled people.

On Disabled Access Day (today), the UK ticketing operator is celebrating a year of partnership with Nimbus Disability, a group that provides disability-related advice and support to business.

By integrating Nimbus’ Access Card, the Ticket Factory joined forces with NEC Group venues Genting Arena and Barclaycard Arena to offer disabled customers the same ease of online booking as everyone else. The Ticket Factory was recognised for its pioneering partnership with Nimbus Disability and The Access Card at the Event Production Awards 2017 last week where it won the award for the ‘Best Ticketing Company’.

Initially designed as a ‘proof of disability’, The Access Card translates a person’s disability or impairment into symbols which highlight the barriers they face, informing providers quickly and discreetly about the support a person needs. The online technology generates an instant understanding of each customer’s disability through a series of symbols shown online and on the card which automatically highlight any requirements they might need, such as free companion tickets or the ability to choose a wheelchair bay.

Martin Austin, managing director of Nimbus Disability, said: “The Ticket Factory have led the way in responding to the desire of disabled people to have access to online bookings and have been the first ticket agent to offer this kind of streamlined service.

“This kind of digital solution offers disabled people the opportunity to enjoy a streamlined service which identifies and meets their individual needs without having to share any personal or medical information.”

The Ticket Factory said those who are in possession of the Access Card can now reserve and pay for their tickets online as well as through The Ticket Factory Contact Centre, making the ticket-buying process much quicker and simpler. The operator said that previously disabled customers were required to call a separate booking line “which was a constant complaint”. They were unable to book online because ticket agents needed to understand the details of their disability before verifying those needs for any special requirements.

The Ticket Factory was the first ticketing agent to take this industry leading move and remains the only ticketing agent which has fully integrated the Access Card into its systems.

Stuart Cain, managing director at The Ticket Factory, said: “It’s simply not fair that disabled people have to call a Contact Centre and try to explain their situation to somebody down the end of a phone, when those without disabilities can book online with ease. Regardless of who you are, buying a ticket should be fast, simple and fun – our work with Nimbus Disability is helping to make this a reality.”