George Eustice MP recently attended an event in Parliament run by the charity Guide Dogs to raise awareness of discrimination against guide dog owners. At the event, George heard from guide dog owners about the impact of being turned away by businesses because of their dog.
Here in the UK it is against the law to refuse access to a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog except in the most exceptional circumstances. However, a recent Guide Dogs survey found that three quarters of assistance dog owners reported that they had been refused entry by businesses. Some of the businesses that closed their doors to assistance dog owners included shops, supermarkets, gyms, campsites, places of worship, public transport, taxis and minicabs, pubs and hotels.
George also recently took time to take part in a sensory walk organised by Guide Dogs for the Blind. This is where a blindfold is placed on you and you try and manoeuvre around busy roads and junctions without your sight but with the help of a local volunteer. It certainly helped to understand how seemingly small obstacles to most of us can be a real barrier to those suffering an impairment like blindness.
George Eustice MP said, “I was shocked to hear about cases of guide dog owners being turned away by businesses. Disabled people should have the same rights as anyone else to shop, take a taxi or visit their local pub and it is right that we do all we can to improve accessibility for everyone.”
You can read a recent article that I wrote on improving accessibility for everyone at: https://georgeeustice.blogspot.com/2018/10/improving-accessibility-for-…