Deaf and disabled people should be able to apply for an extra ticket, free of charge, if they would be unable to attend a gig or outdoor event without the active support of another person.
- A disabled customer's support need occasionally involves 1:1 support at all times, but is far more likely to be focussed on specific aspects of a visit to a venue, such as travel, interacting with staff, eating and drinking, being within a crowd, navigation and travel around a building, or using the toilet.
- By implementing a policy that allows Deaf and disabled people to be accompanied by a Personal Assistant free of charge, event organisers are ensuring that access requirements can be met without additional cost to their disabled customers.
- An individual making use of a Personal Assistant at an event does so in order to facilitate an equal experience, and waiving the cost of their attendance is thus a suitable reasonable adjustment on behalf of venue and festival organisers when seeking to comply with the Equality Act 2010.
- We advocate the use of the term ‘Personal Assistant’ in relation to providing free tickets to a customer who requires assistance at a gig or festival, as this is a neutral phrase that can apply to all forms of personal support.
- In contrast, sole use of the term ‘Carer’ does not reflect the reality of the majority of people, who do not require personal care assistance. ‘Personal Assistant’ is also far more appropriate for a Deaf person wishing to make use of a Communication Support Assistant, for example.
Asking for evidence
- If you require proof of eligibility before issuing Personal Assistant tickets, we suggest stating that the following forms of copied evidence make an individual ‘automatically eligible’:
- Front page of DLA / PIP (no specific rate)
- Front page of Attendance Allowance letter (no specific rate)
- Evidence that registered severely sight impaired (blind)
- Recognised Assistance Dog ID card
- Credability's Access Card
- In addition, we recommend adding a statement suggesting that you will review an application without the recommended evidence on a case-by-case basis.
- We do not recommend that you explicitly ask for a doctor’s letter for automatic eligibility, as this can involve an additional cost to the disabled person.
- If you have access facilities specifically for Deaf and disabled people and have a pass or wristband that you issue so that they can identify themselves, remember that you may need to issue their Personal Assistant with a pass too.
Venues using external promoters
- Attitude is Everything is aware that some venues are used by promoters on a solely hire-based basis, and as such in the first instance it might appear as if it is impossible to guarantee a universal free personal assistant ticket scheme.
- In this situation we strongly advocate that the venue seeks to ensure that any hiring promoter understands the requirement as a reasonable adjustment and why the venue feels the need for them to implement it. This should be provided in writing to the promoter and where possible included within the hire contract.
The Equality Act 2010
- Our CEO, Suzanne Bull MBE wrote a blog for the Huffington Post on this subject and a recent legal landmark in this area.
"Charging a disabled supporter and their PA a total greater than the full price of one ticket for the disabled supporter (including any concession for which they are eligible) would be likely to be unlawful. Where a disabled person requires personal support in order to attend a match, if the club do seek to charge for a PA and the disabled person refuses, the club would have to make reasonable adjustments – in particular arranging their own support – to allow the disabled person to access the services they provide."
Premier League Guidance for Clubs on Disabled Fans and Customers