So. A friend of mine, najalater, is super into comics and pop culture and was planning to go to the Supanova convention this year. Naja’s deaf, and so if she wants to actually get anything out of attending panels, she needs to be able to sit up the front. Easy, right?
Supanova won’t let her, without her buying a VIP ticket. Only VIP ticketholders, apparently, are allowed to sit up the front.
A day pass ticket costs $30. A VIP ticket, according to their website, costs $685.00.
Now look, I get that the convention is a for profit type deal and they need to make money and so on and so forth. But Naja’s not asking for a free entry or anything like that, she just wants to be able to actually get something out of the panels. You know, like everyone else who is attending the convention. She is asking for access. This is a very simple accessibility issue, and one Supanova should be happy to deal with.
Conventions are of course, for profit events. However, Comic-con, Dragon-con, and other US conventions require by law that those with disabilities be catered too as best as possible- including allowing attendees with a hearing disability to sit closer to the screen/stage to lip-read (policies here & here).
I’m pretty sure it’s not ruining their business. Or any other smaller conventions who also follow the same laws.
While Supanova is in Australia our laws are very similar, and discrimination in this form against disabilities is illegal. It is not a big ask to let people who keep these conventions in business have equal access, and be able to enjoy what they paid for. Please help out and contact Supanova and its representatives to let them know this is discrimination. Others do better and so can they.