Disabilities

Accessibility Means More Than Removing Physical Barriers

Thousands of people deal with speech and hearing difficulties. It makes it hard, or impossible, to pick up the phone to call places to make an appointment, find out the answers to our questions, and order concert tickets.

A while back, I tried to order tickets for a show online on Ticketmaster. To order accessible seats for this particular show (and many other shows in the past), I had to call. I emailed them asking if there was any way I could order online. They basically said “nope. Not for this show/venue.” And they did apologize. I made a suggestion that they look into changing their policy. I’m disabled and can’t use the phone. How am I supposed to get accessible seating?

The fact that people who need accessible seating sometimes can’t order their seats online makes it inaccessible for some people. Just saying.

I could get someone to make the call and order them for me. But, I shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t have to reveal where I’m spending my money and how much. In this case, my mom didn’t want to call because she thought it would be ridiculous to spend money going to this particular show, which I later agreed. But what if I really wanted to, without judgment?

Ticketmaster has made it better over the years by allowing some accessible seats to be ordered for certain shows (depending on the show/venue), which has made it a lot easier to order tickets. But I was disappointed to find out there was still some hard restrictions.

Certain places, like banks, require the person calling to be the person with the inquiry. This makes sense because of security of personal information. However, you could imagine how difficult this must be for someone like me.

This is why online services, like live chats and booking appointments online, are important. It allows me, the person with the inquiry, to talk to a representative directly. It allows me to make appointments on my own. I hate bugging people to make calls for me and I should not have to.

I just wanted to write this to raise awareness about the fact that accessibility means more than just removing physical barriers for a wheelchair user. It means braille and audio for the blind. Captions and text chat for those with hearing and speech impairments.

Jessica Victoria
<p>Jessica Victoria, 24, is a writer and advocate for mental health, disability and LGBTQ+. She uses her personal experiences and knowledge to help and educate others.</p>

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