A British woman is suing promoter LHG Live for breaching discrimination laws after it failed to provide a sign language interpreter at a Little Mix concert.
Sally Reynolds told the BBC that she is taking legal action under the Equality Act 2010 after the company did not provide an interpreter for the duration of the concert at the South of England Event Centre in Sussex last September.
Ms Reynolds requested assistance prior to the concert and was offered carer tickets and told that she could bring her own interpreter.
She refused this and instructed lawyers to apply for a court injunction forcing LHG Live to provide a signist. The company finally agreed to offer the service for the duration of the Little Mix set.
However, as the service was not provided for the two support acts, Ms Reynolds has issued legal proceedings for the failure to make reasonable adjustments, in the form of supplying an interpreter, for the whole concert.
Her solicitor Chris Fry, managing partner of Fry Law, told the BBC that the action shines a light on a wider point.
“People with sensory impairment actually want to attend musical and sporting events just as anybody else does,” he said.
“The fact that you have a hearing impairment or sight loss doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be at the event.”
In a statement, LHG Live told the BBC: “We received a request from Sally Reynolds to supply an interpreter. We consulted with her recommended agency and agreed to provide the professional interpreter of her choice for the Little Mix show.
“This included specific staging and lighting, and a set list in advance.”
Meanwhile, a solution that could assist deaf and hearing-impaired concertgoers is being used at this week’s INTIX ticketing industry conference in Baltimore.
The live captioning service, CART, and GalaPro, a new app for IOS and Android devices, are available for the duration of the conference.
GalaPro provides on-demand assistive listening, audio description, and closed captioning, delivered via personal smart phones and tablets.
Maureen Andersen, president and chief executive of INTIX, said: “Making live events accessible for every guest in every possible way is vitally important.
“It increases attendee engagement and ensures that people of all ages and abilities feel welcome.
“In addition, it helps ensure that entertainment organisations are meeting requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, UK accessibility laws or similar laws in their own communities.”
The GalaPro App is the result of a partnership between The Shubert Organisation’s technical team and the Tel Aviv startup company, GalaPrompter.
Shubert vice-president David Andrews said: “GalaPro is a game changer which is currently available in most theatres on Broadway. The exciting new technology can be implemented across a wide range of venues in locations around the world.”