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Old 07-27-2010, 10:10 AM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In view of the Smoky Mountains
Posts: 3,740

The new regulations are interesting for another reason (forget about Segways for the moment). Think back to Kevin's experience in going to Candlelight processional and being told there was a limit on the number of folks who could sit with his mom (who uses a wheel chair). Kevin, John and Kevin's father (who I think was also present) would have been "companions" as the ADA regulations use the term:

For purposes of this section, "companion" means a family member, friend, or associate of an individual seeking access to, or participating in, the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a public accommodation, who, along with such individual, is an appropriate person with whom the public accommodation should communicate.
In the Appendix (explanation) to the new final rule (Skip linked to it above), the Justice department explained that:

the final rule requires public accommodations to make available for purchase three additional tickets for seats in the same row that are contiguous with the wheelchair space, provided that at the time of purchase there are three such seats available. The requirement that the additional seats be "contiguous with the wheelchair space" does not mean that each of the additional seats must be in actual contact or have a border in common with the wheelchair space; however, at least one of the additional seats should be immediately adjacent to the wheelchair space. The Department recognizes that it will often be necessary to use vacant wheelchair spaces to provide for contiguous seating.
There are exceptions to this for when there are insufficient unsold seats or where the ticket office restricts sales of tickets to a particular event to less than four tickets per customer.

Exactly how this might affect Candlelight processional seating remains to be seen. As I recall, specific seats are not reserved. I don't think that should matter. Otherwise, it would permit any assembly area to avoid the ADA companionship seating requirements merely by not selling reserved seats.

Hopefully, it won't be an issue.
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