Editors Note: This is international news but unfortunately based on anecdotal evidence from friends and also myself, the situation is no different in Australia. We must continually work at reducing the discrimination we face with our dog guides.
Nearly 90% of visually impaired people said they have faced ill-treatment while traveling with their guide dogs, with many being refused entry by restaurants and hotels, a survey shows.
The Eye mate Inc, a Tokyo-based foundation aimed at raising awareness about the difficulties facing blind people with guide dogs, said 89.2% reported “unpleasant” experiences.
It is illegal for facilities to refuse entry to the blind and visually impaired people due to their guide dogs.
The organization’s survey in March, covering 259 people with guide dogs across the country, received responses from 102.
In reply to a multiple response question about places that make them “feel unpleasant,” restaurants and cafes refusing entry were cited by 78.9%.
Hotels and other facilities were cited by 33.3% and hospitals by 20%.
Asked how they reacted when they were refused entry, 75.6% said they explained their situation, with 43.3% reporting they failed to gain entry.
Of the respondents, 22.2% said they had consulted local authorities, while 18.9% they did not challenge the refusal of entry.
“There is a need to make further efforts to ensure that facilities used by visually impaired people on a daily basis can accommodate them together with their guide dogs,” an official of the foundation said.