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ADA Updates Kick in Around Wilmington

By Jennifer Montague

03-25-11 – The twenty-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act underwent a revision last fall and some of those updated regulations are required to be in place this month.

The changes that affect venues in the Wilmington area include making online ticket purchasing easier and ensuring that companion seats are available in the same row as the wheelchair seat.

For part of the online purchasing process, the ADA National Network suggests creating drop-down boxes with a list detailing specific seating needs.

Christy Grantham is box office manager at UNCW's Kenan Auditorium. She says that when the auditorium was renovated three years ago to upgrade seating options, there was a noticeable increase in attendance by disabled patrons.

"We didn't really know how to get the word out and how to let people know that we had these new features, but it turns out we really didn't need to. Within a couple of months we started having our first patrons that took advantage of the new handicapped seating, and then, within about six months, about half of the ADA seating is taken by people with those needs."

Kenan Auditorium currently uses Etix, an online ticketing program. While not yet completely automated, it does include an option for patrons to describe the type of disability seating they need.

Learn more about the Disability Resource Center in Wilmington.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.