Guide dog owners still discriminated against in Australia


A new survey has revealed serious discrimination against vision impaired people and their guide dogs. Fifty per cent of handlers are regularly denied access to businesses and public transport.

Alexis Moran reports.

TRANSCRIPT

It’s International Guide Dog Day, and that’s something worth celebrating.

But a national survey found one in two handlers are discriminated.

That’s forced them to change and stop their normal routines and it’s illegal.

Jayson Hanrahan, Guide Dog owner: “I received a phone call on the Monday morning from the owner of the accommodation and I was basically abused for not telling them I had a guide dog.”

It’s enough to make even the cutest guide dog puppy in training, barking mad.

Emma Chapman, Cafe Owner: “I do find it really surprising because I thought that it was legal for guide dogs to go anywhere.”

And that’s right.

Under Australian law, guide dogs are legally entitled to go wherever their owner does.

And service providers can be fined if they deny access.

But the survey found that cafes and restaurants were the main reported sites that refused entry at 71 per cent.

That was followed by taxis and ride share companies like Uber.

Guide Dogs Queensland says it’s due to a lack of education.

Jock Berevidge, Guide Dogs Queensland: “It’s one on one about educating people and using opportunities like this to get a more general message out to the public.”

And, we should all think about this.

Jayson Hanrahan, Guide Dog Owner: “It is quite confrontational but I guess you feel less of a person that you don’t have the same rights that every other person has.”

Alexis Moran, QUT News.