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Soaking wet and stranded – Imagine this was you

17 Nov 2016

New video from the Guide Dogs charity shows what it’s like to be turned away by a taxi or minicab

Imagine you were stuck in the rain, waiting for a cab to take you out to dinner for a really really really long time, you were hungry and soaking wet, but no one would stop for you. Then imagine if when a driver turned up you were asked to pay an extra £50 for no good reason. And then, out of desperation, you have to settle for a second rate pizza while eating it perched on a garden fence.

A new video by the charity Guide Dogs uses comedy to challenge audiences to imagine they were turned away by a taxi or minicab driver for no good reason. Despite legal protection, guide dog owners face this experience every day. The video highlights this discrimination and is released ahead of a Private Members Bill debate that, if made law, would require all taxi and minicab drivers in England to take part in disability equality training.

Comedians Paul F Taylor and Rob Tofield star in the video, which is launched on 14 November 2016.

According to research released by Guide Dogs, 42% of assistance dog owners have been turned away by a taxi or minicab in the past year, compared to only 3% of other passengers.

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs said: “Imagine you were turned away by a taxi driver or asked to pay an extra fare, for no good reason. Despite legal protection, this regularly happens to people living with sight loss because they are travelling with a guide dog.

“This discrimination is not only illegal, it knocks people’s confidence and can stop them doing the everyday things that most people take for granted.

“We would like to see the law changed and training introduced for all taxi and minicab drivers to help them understand the law and how to welcome assistance dog owners.”

To watch the video follow this link: https://youtu.be/quIMW4Svhgg

For more information, case studies or interview please contact the Guide Dogs press team:

  • Liz Marshall, 0118 983 8173, 07500 823 758, Liz.Marshall@guidedogs.org.uk
  • Liam Challenger, 0118 983 8398 or Liam.Challenger@guidedogs.org.uk
  • James Kell, 0118 983 8138 or James.Kell@guidedogs.org.uk

Notes for Editors

1. About Guide Dogs.

Every hour, another person in the UK loses their sight and if this happens to you, Guide Dogs is there to make sure you don’t lose your freedom as well.

We want everyone who experiences sight loss to be able to live their lives the way they choose and feel confident, independent and supported in the world. We’re a UK-wide charity, founded in 1934, and we’re specialists in giving people who are blind or partially sighted the means to live life on their own terms and to step out into the world again. Find out more at www.guidedogs.org.uk.

To help us continue our life-changing work, we rely on donations from individuals. There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss today, a number which is predicted to double to four million by 2050, so we need your support to reach as many people who are blind or partially sighted as possible.

2. About the YouGov research.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2067 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th - 27th October 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

3. About the Guide Dogs research.

The Guide Dogs research was carried out in September 2016. 507 assistance dog owners responded to the survey, 70% of these were guide dog owners.