Lancashire shopkeepers to get in-person reminders over guide dog discrimination - days after a taxi row emerged
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As part of Guide Dog UK's High Street Heroes event, campaigners will be talking to local shops, services, and businesses access rights for guide dog owners and asking them to display an “assistance dogs welcome” window sticker.
It comes as Fylde Borough Council investigate a row over a guide dog in a taxi in Lytham.
As part of the campaign, local businesses will be reminded of their legal responsibilities and asked to think how they can help welcome guide dog owners.It is hoped this will help reduce the number of access refusals and increase the confidence of guide dog owners in going out to local shops.
Why is this needed?
The law gives assistance dog owners, including guide dog owners, the right to access businesses and services without discrimination, but just last month Guide Dogs revealed the majority (81 per cent) of guide dog owners responding to a recent survey have been illegally refused entry to a business or service because they were with their guide dog.
Seventy three per cent of these people said they experienced an access refusal at least once in the past 12 months.
Almost half (49 per cent) of guide dog owners responding to a question in the survey said they change their plans or restrict visits to certain places because they are worried about being refused entry or being challenged.
"The law is clear”
Helen Honstvet, Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager, at Guide Dogs said: “Guide dog owners deserve to be able to live their lives the way they want and feel confident, independent, and supported in the world.
"The law is clear, and yet guide dog owners continue to experience access refusals, which are almost always illegal."
She added: “We know that many businesses welcome guide dog owners but being refused access to a business or service has a negative impact beyond the moment the refusal occurs. That is why businesses and services need to do more to ensure they have open doors to guide dog owners.”