Guide dog owner and disability activist, Amit Patel, has appealed for public patience on escalators after a video he recently shared went viral on Twitter, with well over one million views.
Amit was out enjoying his day in London with his guide dog Kika, when a fellow tube passenger wanted to get past them on the escalator. Amit’s wife, Seema, filmed the man verbally abusing Amit, while Amit and Kika politely stood their ground and didn't allow him to pass. Escalators can be challenging and potentially dangerous for both guide dogs and people with sight loss. Our guide dogs are trained to stand still next to their owners and not move on escalators until they can safely step off.
The video provoked a huge outpouring of support from the public, as well as interest from the UK media. Amit and Kika went on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2, BBC Breakfast, and appeared in a segment for BBC London News too. They spoke about how and when the public should interact with guide dogs and their owners, and appealed for patience and understanding.
Guide dogs go through specialist training to use escalators safely and are taught to stand still next to their owner throughout.
Pete Osborne, Director of Operations at Guide Dogs
Pete Osborne, Director of Operations at Guide Dogs said: “What happened to Amit and Kika was distressing. Disabled people are not an inconvenience and should not face abuse for going about their daily lives. “Guide dogs go through specialist training to use escalators safely and are taught to stand still next to their owner throughout. They are life-changing partners for people with sight loss and deserve patience and understanding. “As more people are returning to offices and stations are becoming busier, we urge the public to be kind and give guide dogs space to work.”
Watch the video of the incident below.