FAQ: Program/Service Accessibility

Question:

What is the minimum number of wheelchair- accessible seats required in assembly areas and who is entitled to purchase accessible seats?

Answer:

Number of Seats

Minimum Number of Required Wheelchair- Accessible Spaces

4 to 25

1

26 to 50

2

51 to 150

4

151 to 300

5

301 to 500

6

501 to 5000

6, plus 1 for each 150, or fraction thereof, between 501 through 5000

5001 and over

36, plus 1 for each 200, or fraction thereof, over 5000

Individuals with mobility disabilities who need accessible seating due to their disability are allowed to buy tickets for accessible seats. This group comprises individuals who utilize wheelchairs, those who utilize other mobility devices, and individuals who cannot climb steps or walk long distances due to conditions such as arthritis or severe respiratory, circulatory, or cardiac conditions. Tickets for accessible seats may be purchased by someone on behalf of the person with a disability.

Question:

Can venues charge higher amounts of money for accessible seats than for non-accessible seats in the same seating section?

Answer:

No. Venues cannot charge higher amounts money for accessible seats than for non-accessible seats in the same seating section. This also applies to service charges added to the price of a ticket, whether charged by the venue or a third-party seller. Venues are obligated to offer accessible seats in all price categories offered to the general public.

Question:

Can tickets for accessible seats be sold to individuals in the general public who do not need the exact features of accessible seats?

Answer:

It depends. Normally, tickets for accessible seats may not be sold to individuals in the general public who do not need the specific features of accessible seats. However, there are three particular situations in which unsold accessible seats may be made available to members of the general public who are not in need of the features mentioned above:

  • when all non-accessible seats have been sold (excluding luxury boxes, club boxes, suites, and seats the venue holds back when declaring a sell-out); or
  • when all non-accessible seats in a particular seating section have been sold, unsold accessible seats in that section may be made available; or
  • when all non-accessible seats in a particular price category have been sold, unsold accessible seats in that price category may be made available.

Question:

What is an accessible seat and who can use one?

Answer:

Accessible seats are spaces particularly designed for wheelchairs and contain the following features:

  • An accessible approach
  • Clear floor space
  • Larger dimensions than typical seating

    For more information on the specific design requirements listed above for accessible seating in assembly areas visit the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards), sections 221 and 802

Question:

Are venues that sell tickets for events such as concerts, plays, and sporting events, obligated to sell tickets for accessible seats in the similar manner and under similar conditions as all other ticket sales?

Answer:

Yes. According to the 2010 ADA regulations, venues (and ticket sellers and distributors) cannot discriminate in the sale of tickets based on disability. Venues are mandated to sell tickets for accessible seats in a similar manner and under similar conditions as all other ticket sales. These requirements, apply to both public and private entities when selling tickets for single events or for a series of events (e.g., subscriptions or season tickets). For example, tickets for accessible seats must be sold:

  • during similar hours;
  • through similar methods of buying (e.g. phone, at the establishment, through a website, or by utilizing third-party vendors); and
  • during the same points of sale (pre-sales, promotions, general sales, wait lists, or lotteries) as non-accessible seats.

Question:

When barrier removal is not readily achievable, what kinds of alternative steps are required by the ADA?

Answer:

When barrier removal is not readily achievable, a business must provide "program access". This means they need to find other ways to make their services and goods available and accessible to individuals with disabilities. Examples of program access might include providing home delivery, curb-side pick up, online and/or telephone ordering options, onsite assistance with selecting or carrying merchandise, etc.