Author Topic: Update #35 Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available  (Read 8600 times)

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Syfygeek

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I have a friend who needs a cane to walk.  She cannot stand for more than 10-15 minutes without having to sit down due to a disability.

A concert is coming up at a venue that is listed as handicapped accessible.  We planned to go, then I read something in the Ticketmaster listing that read "General Admission Only". In my younger concert going heyday, GA always meant find a good spot and stand all night. I couldn't believe that no seating would be available, so I called the venue to find out if there was seating and maybe that it was first come first served.

Nope, (after 2 phone calls and multiple transfers) I find out that there is no seating available for this particular concert, no handicapped seating, and was told at one point that if my friend is in a wheelchair, then she'd have her own seat.

I am not familiar with what constitutes Handicapped Accessible, am I unreasonable to want seating for someone who cannot stand ? I will escalate my request to someone higher at the venue to see if accommodation can be made, but wanted to check to see if I was being an snowflake and expecting too much.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 03:50:15 PM by Syfygeek »
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WillyNilly

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 02:42:48 PM »
A concert is coming up at a venue that is listed as handicapped accessible.  We planned to go, then I read something in the I am not familiar with what constitutes Handicapped Accessible, am I unreasonable to want seating for someone who cannot stand ? I will escalate my request to someone higher at the venue to see if accommodation can be made, but wanted to check to see if I was being an snowflake and expecting too much.

Unfortunately I think you are expecting too much.
I don't know the nitty-gritty details of the law but I would think "handicapped accessible" simple means they have ramps or elevators (no need to use stairs) to get in and use the restrooms, and handicap restroom stalls.

"Accessible" does not mean "advisable" or "comfortable" or even "even last need will be met", it just means the basics. For GA, she could probably bring in one of those canes with a stool attached, or a walker with a seat. But I don't see why they would have to provide her with a seat - they simply need to allow her to bring in a seat (to a reasonable extent).

Lots of people dislike or uncomfortable with GA performances for all sorts of comfort and health reasons, but they are what they are. Every venue can't be all things to all people.

bopper

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 02:43:01 PM »
Handicapped Accessible probably means just that...the handicapped can access the venue and partake in the events there.
However, your friend has an endurance problem.  She should then rent/borrow (I will bet her church has one if she is a member) one so she has a place to sit.  However, if it is expected that people stand the whole time, and she is sitting, she will not be able to see the concert.  So I would think there should be a place set aside for wheelchairs so those concert goers can see the show too.  I would call back and ask if there is a wheelchair section set aside.

Another example to think about is Disneyworld.  They make it handicapped accessible...but if you can't stand for a long time, they don't let you bypass the line, they suggest you rent an electric convenience vehicle (scooter).  You still have access to the rides, don't have to stand in line, can enjoy them, but you wait like everyone else. 

SingActDance

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 02:45:23 PM »
Others can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe handicap accessible only means that the facilities can be accessed by people with disabilities (for example: ramps and bathroom stalls are all up to code). I don't think that means that seating will be provided for people who have trouble standing for long periods.

I would call the venue and ask if they can provide your friend a seat, but be prepared that the location of the seat may not be ideal.
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Cami

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 03:02:57 PM »
I'm an event planner so I deal with this question. Generally, venues do not have to go beyond making the venue accessible -- which means permitting ENTRANCE to the facility and spaces large enough to handle wheelchairs, ECVs and service animals (dogs). Anything more than that is the problem of the person needed assistance.  For example, we had an event at a huge indoor facility -- it was larger than a football field. We had to ensure that a handicapped person could get into the facility and that there was wheelchair-size space available, but beyond that, we had no legal requirements. So in that case, we had a few people who, while capable of walking from their car to the entrance, were not capable of walking the distance to their seats. We were not required to provide transportation to their seats.  (What we chose to do was borrow a wheelchair from the venue and the person could be pushed to their chair, BUT they also had to provide the person to push the chair as it became a huge liability issue for one of us to push the chair.)

I can tell you that in the case of a person being unable to stand in a GA situation, the venue's attitude is going to be that they should be in a wheelchair or ECV.

I will also note that some venues have regulations about what seating you are allowed to bring into their site. You are allowed to bring in wheelchairs and scooters, but NOT folding chairs, etc due to liability issues.

MrTango

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 03:10:44 PM »
Based on your OP, you are not being a Special Snowflake.  Contacting the venue, and even escalating a request beyond the front-line CSR isn't SS-ish, as long as you accept that in the end, their answer may still be "no."

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 03:29:20 PM »
I agree with MrTango.

And if you and friend really want to see this concert, I don't think there is anything wrong with borrowing/renting a wheelchair for friend for the evening.  She has a legitimate disability.
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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 03:46:31 PM »
I would check with the ADA, but if a place is handicap accessible, then reasonable concessions are made for the patrons.  The person you spoke to was rude with the snarky wheelchair comment.  Also, talk to the public relations office of the venue as they would be able to answer your questions easier as that is their job to promote the venue and the events.

Zilla

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 03:56:55 PM »
You spoke with two different persons and they both said no seating.  As others suggested, I would ask your friend to look into renting a wheelchair for the evening.  Or seeing if the venue has one. (I know airports do, maybe this venue will as well)  If neither is an option, then I would call them back and ask for a refund which they should do.

JenJay

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 04:08:21 PM »
Based on your OP, you are not being a Special Snowflake.  Contacting the venue, and even escalating a request beyond the front-line CSR isn't SS-ish, as long as you accept that in the end, their answer may still be "no."

I agree.

A relative of mine is in the same situation as your friend. He has a standard cane and one that converts into a small seat that he uses when chances are good he'll be in a standing-only situation. Maybe something like that would work for her?

rashea

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 04:15:27 PM »
They don't have to provide seating, but they do have to provide a parallel experience to a certain extent. You should ask if they have a designated wheelchair area and then either ask if they can put a chair in for her, or see if she can rent one. They should have an area that is roped off so people in wheelchairs don't end up getting squished.
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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2013, 04:38:45 PM »
I don't think it's SS to ask, but at a GA show it might be SS to DEMAND.  I would also consider that your friend, sitting, might not be able to see a darn thing because most other people will be standing. 

I'm short and attended a GA comedy show one night, and I couldn't see the performer at all (and half his hilarity is in his facial expressions/gestures.  I was bummed but thems the breaks.

DottyG

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 04:40:07 PM »
Quote
The person you spoke to was rude with the snarky wheelchair comment.

I agree with this.  While it may be true that someone in a wheelchair automatically has a seat there, there are nicer ways of putting it than it sounds like this person did.

Raintree

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2013, 04:51:25 PM »
I took my dad to a concert. He is not in a wheelchair, but uses a walker and really cannot manage stairs or walk very far. And he does have a decal for parking and a wallet card, ie, he does officially have a disability. When I booked on-line at Ticketmaster, I saw that you had to call a special number for "Accessible seating." The venue where this concert was held had a couple of areas reserved for people with disabilites and their companions. This meant that it was close to the doors, no stairs, and by an aisle, with plenty of room for wheelchairs etc. When we arrived there were staff there specifically assisting disabled patrons and their companions, telling us where we could enter, pointing out the seats, making sure we were comfortable, and making sure walkers, canes and so on were looked after in an area off to the side.

If your venue is listed as "handicapped accessible" then they should be able to provide a seat for your friend, otherwise it is not handicapped accessible. And handicapped doesn't necessarily mean wheelchair. Surely the person you spoke to was wrong.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 04:53:26 PM by Raintree »

camlan

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Re: Am I being a Special Snowflake or should seating be available
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 04:57:01 PM »
They don't have to provide seating, but they do have to provide a parallel experience to a certain extent. You should ask if they have a designated wheelchair area and then either ask if they can put a chair in for her, or see if she can rent one. They should have an area that is roped off so people in wheelchairs don't end up getting squished.

But don't expect that area to have a great view of the stage. I've been in handicapped seating where the view was superb, and where the view was so-so, and where the view was obstructed by a pillar. They have to provide the space, but that's all that's required.
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