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Access Forms at The Cadogan Hall

Stiletto Wheels Stickman

Aagh!. I’ve just finished a somewhat tetchy conversation with an operator from the Cadogan Hall where I am unable to book two full price tickets because I am a wheelchair user and, as well, I have to give the name of my companion ‘in case something happens to me’.

Am I alone in finding this unacceptable?

It’s not that I do not appreciate the Access scheme that most public venues operate: it does cost more if you have to always take a companion with you to assist so the discounted tickets are appreciated.  I do understand that venues need to know if wheelchairs are in attendance … though I would venture to suggest that the booking of a space not a seat might be sufficient info on this.  But …

Sometimes, I just want to go somewhere once and am not sure I will be back.  In such a case, I might rather pay full price than fill in a long form about my disability, my benefits, my illness, my personal details, my companion and so on.

And, if I am paying full price, I expect to be treated exactly the same as any other person going along.  The venue knows I am in the wheelchair, what more do they need to know?  Nothing to my way of thinking.

What I do not expect to be told is that I cannot book unless I fill in their Access form.  No, not even full price.  And I must give the name of my companion, I repeat, ‘in case something happens to me’.  Has any adult not in a wheelchair ever been asked to do this?

Infuriating and the more so when I am made to feel that I am being unreasonable … for not liking to be treated as ‘different’ or a child to be looked after.

Either the venue has access or not.  If it is safe for everyone else, it should be safe for me and what is with this, ‘No, you can’t buy tickets at full price …’?

Honestly, I am not trying to be unreasonable but how was it possible to avoid the ensuing tetchy conversation?

PS Less than fifteen minutes later, I receive a call saying, ‘We shouldn’t do this but if you want to pay full price …’  So, I have my tickets.  Let us hope I am not in the worst spot in the house after posting this!

Note to the operator at The Cadogan: what I did not manage to impart is that I really do just want an easy life and sometimes filling in a load of forms just isn’t.  The forms are rarely online and I cannot hold a pen so my long-suffering husband has yet another tedious task to add to his already over-long list … easier, sometimes, is just not do the form and pay the cash especially as this is meant to be a treat for him. Sadly, this time, paying up actually wasn’t a lot easier than not but it still was a bit.  Thank you for sorting it out so quickly.  But, for me, I am left wondering why I have to have this hassle?  Am I being difficult or are you (meaning the Cadogan rules, not you personally)?

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