I’m a 21-year-old college student who became physically disabled in middle school. I can’t walk for extended periods. I’m also mentally ill and have severe anxiety. I tend to avoid public events like concerts or sports games because venues are rarely accessible, and I find the planning quite stressful. But I’ve missed out on a lot of events I’d really rather attend. Recently I had the chance to buy discounted tickets to see an artist I love, and I found the venue had accessible seating. I made plans with friends to rent a house nearby and make a weekend of it. It’s been thrilling, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do since childhood but haven’t been able to.
But when I went to book the tickets, I realized I didn’t know where my friends are supposed to sit. The accessible section doesn’t appear to have any designated companion seating, and even if there were, I’m bringing three people with me. I feel terrible at the idea of taking up seating that could be used by other disabled folks. But I don’t want to sit alone with my friends several rows away. Part of me wants to just not go at all and save myself any trouble, but I was really looking forward to this. Do I book the seats and risk preventing other disabled people from getting this experience, or do I sit alone and risk a miserable time? Or do I not go at all?