I was proud to support the campaign to tackle discrimination against guide dog owners at an event in Parliament organised by the charity Guide Dogs.
More than a hundred guide dog owners from across the country recently came to Westminster Hall in Parliament to share their experiences of being turned away by businesses because of their dog. At the event, I spoke to guide dog owners from Bury about the lasting impact of these refusals. Letters will be going to the Minister and local taxi firms highlighting the challenges.
It is against the law to refuse access to a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog except in the most exceptional circumstances. Despite this, a new Guide Dogs survey found that three out of four (76%) assistance dog owners had been turned away because of their dog.
It was disturbing to hear how common these incidents of discrimination are for assistance dog owners. No one should be turned away from a service or business because of their assistance dog.
I support Guide Dogs’ Access All Areas campaign to tackle the ignorance that causes access refusals.
Later this summer I will be doing a “blind walk” to ensure I am more versed in the challenges my blind and partially sighted constituents face.