Feb. 29, 2016
AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW/WAGT)– A concert attendee believes a bounded area needs to be adapted for assemblage in wheelchairs. Patrice Smith enjoys alive music but not at the Bell Auditorium. She says the affliction seats are not animated so she can’t see already the concert starts and bodies stand.
Music has been Smith’s conservancy aback she was a child. She was built-in with a aback ache which keeps her in a wheelchair. “It’s one affair that’s kept me sane for years,” she said. “Boys II Men are absolutely one of my admired artists. They were absolutely my aboriginal concert,” she said. She started analytic for tickets as anon as she heard the accumulation was advancing to the Bell Auditorium. It didn’t booty her continued to apprehend she didn’t accept abounding options for seating. “It makes me acutely balked because I absorb my money like anybody else,” she said.
A basement blueprint shows the affliction seats are attic level. Although it’s prime seats for abounding bodies it is not for those in wheelchairs, says Smith. “The concert starts and anybody stands up and I can’t see,” she said. She said it happened to her during the Mary J. Blige concert. “I can apprehend it which is abundant but I can do that at home,” Smith said. “People with disabilities are appealing abundant larboard out,” she added.
“The advantage would be if she feels adequate in absolution an conductor apperceive or we can maybe move her to the side,” Cedric Johnson said. The administrator of the Coliseum Authority said they do aggregate they can to advice their ADA assemblage adore the shows. But article they can’t action is animated seating.
Liz Owens: “Is the age one of the affidavit why there is not animated affliction seating?”Cedric Johnson: “I would say that’s the acumen why. Of advance in those times and dates they (ADA guidelines) weren’t a requirement.”
The Bell Auditorium was congenital aback in the 1940’s. It was aftermost adapted in the 80’s. And new renovations could amount millions. “Our big focus is architecture a new arena,” Johnson said.
Current ADA law does crave affliction basement on anniversary akin of a venue. The law was revised a few years ago, decades afterwards the Bell was built.
James Brown Amphitheatre and The Imperial Theater accept animated basement for ADA patrons
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