Performing Arts and Museums

ADA obligations at events such as concerts, plays, museums, and art openings

Betty Siegel, Director of Accessibility, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.:
“Several years ago, I worked with Marc in resolving a complaint against a local arts organizations concerning accessibility. I found Marc to be thoroughly professional, an expert on the ADA, and a fine example of what an attorney advocating for his client can accomplish.”

Increasingly, people with disabilities are being integrated into mainstream society, and taking advantage of all that a community has to offer. This includes many guests with disabilities who visit concerts, and plays. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets out requirements that apply to private venues and public venues, and imposes a series of federal civil rights obligations that are important to understand. In addition, the Justice Department recently expanded the regulations, and it is essential that businesses and state and local government officials are aware of what the law requires.

ADA Expertise Consulting, LLC, founded by Marc Dubin, a former Justice Department attorney who was responsible for nationwide enforcement of the ADA on behalf of the United States, can help.

Justice Department Issues Updates to ADA Regulations:

The new regulations address a series of barriers experienced by customers with disabilities, where ticket sellers, public and private venues, and distributors failed to provide the same opportunity to purchase tickets for wheelchair-accessible seats and non-accessible seats.

In the past, while the general public has been able to purchase tickets for non-accessible seats directly and immediately, thorough a box office, Internet site, or through a third-party Internet based vendor, these direct purchase options have been unavailable to many individuals with disabilities because transactions frequently could not be completed. Customers with disabilities were commonly directed to send an e-mail or call a separate phone number to request tickets, and then commonly have to wait for a response. Unfortunately, in many places, these barriers to access still exist.

In September of 2010, the Justice Department issued new regulations that are now in effect, that address the following:


  • Ticket Sales
  • Ticket Prices
  • Ticket Transfer
  • The Secondary Ticket Market
  • Identification of Available Accessible Seating
  • Purchase of Multiple Tickets
  • The Holding and Releasing of Tickets for Accessible Seating, and
  • Prevention of Fraud in the Purchase of Tickets for Accessible Seating

As of March 15, 2011, venues that sell tickets for assigned seats must implement policies to comply with the Justice Department’s new ticketing requirements.

In addition to the new ticketing requirements, the ADA also mandates other services for guests with disabilities, including guests with mobility disabilities, guests accompanied by a service dog, guests with vision loss, and guests with hearing loss. It is important for venues to understand these obligations, to avoid litigation or federal enforcement actions.

We can help.

Please contact us for more information.