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    • #24662
      Alyssa Silva

      Have you ever been to a concert or show and experienced some form of inaccessibility? I have. Every single time.

      That’s why I found today’s 31 Days of SMA to be super interesting and, quite honestly, awesome. Ty shares his story about his love for music and how it eventually led him to become an activist for the disability community— specifically when it comes to barriers at live events. Before shows, he’ll get on stage and speak to a crowd of mostly able-bodied folks about inaccessibility, why representation matters, and so on. Oftentimes, people don’t understand the many challenges we go through just to enjoy a show.

      Have you ever run into issues at live shows? I’ve had many, but the one issue I run into time and time again is that I’m only allowed to have one guest sit in the accessible seats with me. The rest of my group has to sit elsewhere. How is that even fair??

    • #24670
      Tracy Odell

      I do not go to live shows anymore. I pay the same price as everyone else, then I have limited choice about where to sit because only a handful of seats are accessible. There is only room for one person to sit with me, like you said, so anyone else in my group has to sit elsewhere. But the main reason I don’t go is that when people get excited – and who doesn’t want a concert to be exciting at some point? – everyone else stands up and I get a view of the backsides of people standing in front of me – I am no longer able to see what is going on on the stage. I would much rather watch a concert that is televised and turned the stereo up loud.

    • #24673

      I would not let anything stop me from a live show, I am an artist so music is everything to me. I’ve been through all of it; put off in the corner that’s supposed to be accessible but screams ‘crane your neck to see for 2 hours but you can’t because your disability doesn’t physically let you, or ‘can you hear the music from the foot of the stairs? I’m sorry we’re not accessible but we’ll tell the band to turn it up loud’. And my personal favorite, ‘we can get some big guys to carry you AND your power chair (all 450 lbs.) upstairs. The fun is when they offer to do it all again after the show and everyone’s drunk, coming down flights of stairs sideways can be scary lol.

      But all frustrations and dangers aside, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I learned that planning ahead is best. Know your venue managers by first name, call and ask what their floor layout is and what their handicap seating arrangements are. If you’re going in a group, try and have everyone purchase their tickets ahead of time and coordinate with the venue manager beforehand. It’s hardly ever going to be a perfect situation for us but it’s all about picking our battles wisely.

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