Access Refusals

I am a proud Guide Dog Owner and have been with Maisie since April 2018. She does so much for my mobility, confidence and is a brilliant companion. Where I go, she goes, and this usually isn’t a problem…

Like most assistance dogs, Maisie wears a reflective harness with ‘guide dog’ written on it, to reinforce her role and remind people why she is assisting me. Usually when denied access to an establishment, after a conversation explaining Maisie’s role, we are allowed in.

Guide Dogs and assistance dogs have the right to enter most services, premises, and vehicles, but research has shown that 75% of service dog owners have been denied access to taxis, restaurants, and shops.

Unfortunately, I have been refused access at local shops and restaurants, some which I have visited many times before without an issue.

I was refused access at our local Tesco, when a new security guard was not aware of the UK legislation, and back in December after a courtesy message to my local Indian restaurant (which I have visited many times in the past with Maisie) refused our entry, and after several attempts to rectify the situation, they now refuse to engage with me at all.

Because of this access refusal, I am left with anxiety about visiting new (and old!) places, for fear that Maisie and I will not be allowed in. It may seem irrational, but sadly this is not an isolated incident.

Access refusals are more than simply not being allowed in, they affect the individual, knock one’s confidence, and are often a result of someone breaking the law, laws that are put in place to protect us, but are sadly being ignored.

Find out more about access refusals and how to receive help if this has happened to you head to https://www.rnib.org.uk/rnibconnect/guide-dog-refusal

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