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See Tickets in disability discrimination row

See Tickets has been accused of discrimination after demanding that the choreographer of a show, who is in a wheelchair, presents proof of disability.

The ticketing firm has defended its decision, stating that it was necessary to ask for proof due to fraudulent activity, The Stage reports.

See also added that it was important to make sure that accessible tickets were only used by those with a “genuine need.”

However, the theatre company Graeae has accused See of “aggressive” behaviour and labelled its policy as potentially discriminatory.

Graeae flagged the issue after attempting to book a wheelchair space for a choreographer working on a performance by its young company, the Rollettes, which has been scheduled at the Alexandra Palace on December 16 as part of Horrible Christmas.

See sent an email to the theatre company stating that only “registered disabled customers” have access to the area required and that it needed “proof of disability”.

“If we have not received this within seven days your booking with us will be cancelled,” See wrote.

See Tickets told The Stage that several of its clients and venues had “experienced instances where people are fraudulently claiming accessible tickets.

“We ask for evidence of disability at the final booking stage to ensure accessible tickets and personal assistant tickets are being used by the people who have genuine need for them.”

The ticketing firm added that the system of providing proof is in place as it “reduces fraudulent access and increases the actual capacity for customers with disabilities”.

However, Graeae head of marketing Richard Matthews said the number of people “pretending to be disabled to get a cheaper ticket is probably very small.

“From our perspective, it’s more important to be treating disabled people ethically – not asking for very personal documentation, which is very violating.”

Meanwhile, the Ambassador Theatre Group, one of the largest theatre ticketing companies, told The Stage that it also asked for proof, and said that this was in place to prevent fraud.

“Unfortunately, we too have seen fraudulent activity in this area and are actively working with industry partners to address this issue,” the spokesman said, adding: “We appreciate that these requirements may feel unjustified to some patrons, but unfortunately they are necessary in order to avoid abuse of the access scheme.”

Image: David Joyce