Guide Dog Users Face Discrimination in Ride-Share Services

by Lisa

Natalie, a visually impaired woman, recounts a harrowing incident when a ride-share driver sped off, dragging her guide dog behind the car. Despite showing her guide dog card, the driver refused service, leaving Natalie’s beloved dog injured. This traumatic experience forced Natalie to retire her guide dog early and highlights a concerning trend faced by many visually impaired individuals when using ride-share services.

According to recent data collected by Ernst & Young and commissioned by Guide Dogs Australia, nearly half of Australians living with low vision and blindness have experienced refusal or cancellation of service from taxi or ride-share companies in the past 24 months. The study surveyed 622 individuals, revealing that 46% encountered refusals, while 34% had their rides cancelled, and 15% faced ridicule or discrimination.


Under federal anti-discrimination laws, assistance dogs are guaranteed access to public places, including taxis and ride-shares. However, these laws are often overlooked, with drivers flouting regulations and facing minimal consequences. Graeme Innes, a former disability discrimination commissioner, emphasized the need for stronger enforcement, citing his own experiences of refusal.


In response to these issues, ride-share companies like Uber are implementing educational initiatives to train drivers on their obligations. However, advocates argue that more robust measures are necessary, including fines and driver bans, to ensure compliance and protect the rights of visually impaired individuals.


The Australian Taxi Industry Association Limited acknowledges the problem and encourages customers to report discrimination incidents. They also advocate for enhanced compliance measures, recognizing the current burden placed on victims of discrimination to report incidents.


Tamara Searant, General Manager of Social Change at Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, underscores the importance of improved reporting mechanisms and greater accountability from companies. She emphasizes the need for users to have confidence that their complaints will be addressed and resolved effectively.

As visually impaired individuals continue to face discrimination in accessing essential services, advocates and stakeholders are calling for concerted efforts to address these systemic issues and uphold the rights of all members of the community.


You may also like


IDOGWO OFWOOF is a comprehensive dog dog portal. The main columns include dog training、dog grooming、keep a dog、feed the dog、dog knowledge etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

© 2023 Copyright