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Deaf face too many challenges in booking event tickets

Tuesday 17th April 2018
Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals still encounter too many challenges when booking tickets for events, a new report has revealed. Image: humonia via iStock
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Deaf, hard-of-hearing and otherwise disabled entertainment fans still have to overcome too many barriers when trying to purchase tickets for live events, according to a new report.

The charity Attitude is Everything has carried out research that found over 80 per cent of deaf or disabled music fans have experienced difficulties when buying gig tickets, with one in ten even considering taking legal action due to the poor service they received.

More than 70 per cent of those surveyed said they felt discriminated against due to being unable to book tickets over the phone, although 37 per cent believe that access to booking services has improved in the last four years.

However, it is clear that there is still a long way to go until everyone's needs are met by ticket booking services.

For example, specialists such as audiologists and occupational therapists could work alongside venues and ticket sellers to help improve the options available to all, in order to make them more accessible.

Suzanne Bull MBE, chief executive officer for Attitude is Everything, commented: "In 2018, every large-scale music event should be all-inclusive.

"Disabled customers should be able to buy a ticket online, they should be encouraged to attend shows with their friends, and not have to jump through undignified hoops when things go wrong.

"As a disabled music fan myself, I'd urge ticket sellers, venues and festivals to understand that all disabled people must enjoy the same experiences as any other fan."

Since the publication of the report, Attitude is Everything has formed a new coalition entitled Ticketing Without Barriers, which comprises more than 30 trade bodies including Ticketmaster, See Tickets, Live Nation and AEG Events, as well as over 130 venues and festivals.

Together, these organisations are looking into ways to make ticket booking hotlines more accessible to all, including those living with hearing loss.

Written by James Puckle

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