FAQs about new American Disabilities Act (ADA) wheelchair seating and theater ticketing

(Last Updated On: August 16, 2012)

Q. The number of companion seats is confusing. Is it one or three?
A. The law requires one companion seat but it also says the customer may purchase up to three if other customers are allowed to purchase up to that many or more. The seats should be contiguous and in the same row so long as such seats are available. If they are not available, the venue should give them a choice of nearby seats.
Q. What if those seats are in a different price category?
A. Continue to use your standard price categories for adult, senior, student, child, etc. If any of your patrons need wheelchair accessible seats, use the same price categories. The wheelchair accessible seats should cost the same as your non-wheelchair accessible seats. (For example, in the case a child needs a wheelchair accessible seat, the child will pay child’s price regardless if they are sitting in a regular seat or in a wheelchair accessible
Q. When can I release the seats I am holding to meet the ADA requirements?
A. You may never release the wheelchair accessible and companion seat unless all non-accessible seats are:
1. Sold out in the venue
2. Sold out in an area
3. Sold out in a specific price category
The tricky part is determining what “sold out” means. The law leaves it up to the venue to decide. It could mean that, say, 97% of the venue is sold out, there are only single seats available or whatever you reasonably determine. The best thing to do is set a policy of what sold out means and apply it consistently.
Q. Can someone who purchased accessible seats transfer them to someone who doesn’t meet the eligibility
A. Yes.
Q. How do I know how many seats the ADA regulations require?
A. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design has that information and much more about other new requirements for things such as assistive listening systems.

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