The following email (reproduced below) about the discrimination faced by guide dog owners is self explanatory. As a guide dog owner I am saddened and angered by the fact that 75 percent of guide dog owners report having been refused access to a taxi when accompanied by their guide dog. I am saddened but not surprised because the same thing has happened to me on several occasions (I.E. taxi drivers flouting the law by refusing to carry me when accompanied by my guide dog Trigger). If you live in the UK please do take the time to write to your Member of Parliament regarding this issue. The original email can be found by following this link http://emails-guidedogs.org.uk/LDK-3KHFD-E85B5CNX2A/cr.aspx. Please note, the links in the email reproduced below don’t work (for the working links please visit the original document linked to above).
Email From Guide Dogs For The Blind Association
“My biggest problem with refusals comes from taxi drivers. I used to have a very tough two hour commute to work. The taxi part of the journey was the shortest
bit travel wise, but it always ended up being the bit that held me up the most because I was having to spend time facing drivers who wouldn’t take me with
my dog. It made an already stressful situation really stressful and upsetting…it’s good that my contract was flexi hours otherwise I’m sure I would have
been sacked for being late all the time – it happened so often.” Guide dog owner, Northamptonshire
Earlier this year we carried out a survey of over one thousand assistance dog owners. The results were shocking.
75% of guide dog owners
who responded had been refused access to a business or service at some stage because they were accompanied by their dog, and nearly half had within the
Take action to help us stop this from happening.
This is why we’ve launched an important new campaign called ‘Access All Areas’ which aims to ensure guide dog and other assistance dog owners are able to
gain access to businesses and services with their dog, as is their legal right.
A guide dog owner and guide dog about to get into a taxi
Amongst guide dog owners the most frequently encountered place to be refused access was taxis and private hire vehicles. You can help us tackle this problem
by taking our new online action.
Thank you for supporting this vital new campaign.
Argh this is AWFUL! Will write to my MP xxx
Thank you. I very much appreciate you taking the time to do that. Kind regards. Kevin
In a restaurant I’d understand but a taxi when people can actually take their small dogs on board a plane and sit them on the floor next to them?
Thank you for your comment. The Equalities Act (which now incorporates the Disability Discrimination Act) says that guide and other assistance dogs are allowed access to businesses/services, including restaurants. It is against the law to refuse a guide dog owner access to food premises and a number of businesses have been prosecuted for doing so. The dogs are trained to lie on the floor so pose no risk to health and safety. Kevin
Thanks for the undated
Interesting to learn about the laws in other countries. 🙂 Glad to see other countries have protections for taxis too.