What have we achieved?
In April We handed over 46,000 signatures to Government, along with a box filled with stress cards to remind the Minister that 42% of guide dog owners face discrimination. We are hoping for a response from the Department for Transport soon.
We are continuing to work with licensing authorities to ensure that they adopt our disability equality training and that taxi and minicab drivers understand the rights and needs of disabled people.
A second petition was launched, calling on the Government to ensure that all taxi and minicab drivers take part in disability equality training to understand the rights and needs of disabled people.
Another successful day of action in April saw campaigners collect over 10, 000 signatures for the petition! We also took the campaign to party conferences where politicians tried their luck at a shuffleboard.
Hundreds of campaigners across the UK took to the streets to collect over 8,000 signatures for the Access All Areas petition as part of our Action for Access Day in May. The day was a great success!
In June over 100 guide dog owners attended a lobby of Parliament in Westminster to speak to MPs about how access refusals from shops, restaurants and taxis affect them on a daily basis. We handed the first Access All Areas petition, with 50,523 signatures, to the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP.
Andrew Gwynne MP announced that he would introduce a Bill to make it a condition of taxi and minicab drivers' licences that they take part in disability equality training. Unfortunately, the Bill ran out of time to be debated.
The Access All Areas campaign was launched! The campaign aims to end assistance dog owners being illegally refused access to places. Guide Dogs is calling on the Government to strengthen the law to stop refusals from happening – starting with taxis, the most common business to refuse guide dog owners.