Access concerns over ‘2012 ticketing glitch’


A software glitch may have prevented older people from ordering wheelchair-accessible spaces for next year’s Paralympics, it has been claimed.

The application process for tickets for the London 2012 Paralympics closed on 26 September, with organisers describing demand as “unprecedented”.

But one leading disabled activist says a “glitch” in the software for the ticketing website meant that when she booked an older person’s ticket – on the final day for applications – she was not able to ask to sit in a space for wheelchair-users, or to request a “companion” ticket for a personal assistant.

Julie Newman, acting chair of the UK Disabled People’s Council, said she was only able to buy non-wheelchair tickets for the athletics, swimming, cycling, archery and equestrian events at the cheaper older person’s price.

She said: “I spent hours on the website going through it over and over again, and in the end settled for what the system would allow me.”

She is concerned that she and other older disabled people who use wheelchairs will find themselves with tickets for seated places, and will not receive the companion tickets they need.

The website also failed to provide a quick and accessible way to contact the 2012 ticketing department, she said.

A spokesman for the 2012 organising committee LOCOG said it had not received “any reports of any glitch on the website other than this one”.

He added: “There clearly was something that went wrong because she wasn’t able to do it. Whether it went wrong on her side or our side, I don’t know.”

UKDPC will now post details of LOCOG’s contact details on its website so that any other older disabled people with concerns can come forward.

6 October 2011

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