On January 14 2014 I wrote this blog about taxi drivers discriminating against guide dog users. Of the two particular cases that had been in the press at the time, one was Aberdeen and the other Teesside.
It was announced on Thursday 3 June 2015 that Aberdeen were to be the first local authority in the country to introduce a new tactile certificate for taxi Drivers who state they have a medical condition that prevents them from carrying a guide dog. If the taxi driver state they have a medical condition and cannot carry a dog, they will be referred to an appropriate nominated doctor by the Licensing Authority who will then undertake the appropriate examination before a certificate is issued.
The tactile certificate will have an embossed ‘E ‘in the corner that the visually impaired or blind customer can read to prove that there is indeed a medical exemption.
According to the press release at Aberdeen City Council, Guide Dogs Scotland stated:
“Guide Dogs Scotland welcomes Aberdeen City Council’s introduction of a new tactile certificate to indicate when taxi drivers have a genuine medical exemption that prevents them from carrying assistance dogs in their cab.
“The move is very positive for assistance dog owners and is a first for Scotland. It will reassure assistance dog owners that if a taxi driver prevents an assistance dog from travelling in their cab on medical grounds, the claim is genuine.
“Guide dog owners rely on their dogs for mobility and independence. This is recognised in the Equality Act 2010, which requires service providers not to discriminate against disabled people – including those with assistance dogs – in how they provide their service.
Local Campaigner Mary Rasmussen said “We are very grateful to Aberdeen City Council as this was a real leap of faith on their behalf”.