A first-of-its-kind guide to accessible ticketing in the UK has been launched to guarantee D/deaf and disabled customers appropriate service when buying tickets online.
The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) has commissioned the guide in response to the many obstacles disabled people face when they want to book tickets online.
Nimbus Disability, a consultancy firm, along with charity Attitude is Everything, wrote and put the guide together. While the research that prompted the guide was heavily focused on the live music industry, it is aimed at ticket sellers for all live events.
The new guide highlights that while 75 per cent of disabled people would rather book tickets online, only one in five venues actually offer an online ticketing service for disabled customers.
Nimbus reported in 2014 that the inaccessible online ticketing set up had put 83 per cent of disabled customers off using it.
Many venues only sell accessible tickets through in-house telephone booking lines, which often have limited hours.
In response, the guide has been written to shine a light on the legal and operational considerations around ticketing for disabled customers. It reportedly discusses the expectations of venues and ticket vendors for providing a well-rounded service for disabled customers.
It will include the legal responsibilities of the ticket sellers, as well as methods for dealing free-of-charge ticket allocations for essential companions.
STAR chief executive Jonathan Brown said organisations should be considering how they ensure they have equal access online ticketing, not whether they do it at all, The Stage website reports.
He said: “We know that improvements are being made and there are certainly ticket agents and venues that are currently working towards implementing online booking facilities for disabled people.
“We look forward to hearing more on these developments later in the year, but there is still much work to be done.”
Penny Mordaunt, minister of state for disabled people, health and work, said: “We must do all that we can to offer disabled people a real choice in how and where they spend their time and money… [I] hope that the whole industry will take the guidance on board.”
Image: axelle b