Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, joined Guide Dogs’ charity in Parliament this week to pledge his support to their Open Doors campaign.
Chris Elmore MP met guide dog owners about their experiences of being illegally turned away because they had their guide dog with them.
Recent research conducted by Guide Dogs found that 81% of guide dog owners have been refused access to a restaurant, shop, or taxi at some point because they were with their dog. And of these people, almost three in four (73%) said they experienced an access refusal at least once in the past 12 months. These refusals have a significant negative impact on the confidence, independence and wellbeing of people who have guide dogs.
Guide Dogs’ launched their Open Doors campaign aims to raise awareness of the rights assistance dog owners have, and the need for better enforcement and clearer laws.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“Guide dogs are a vital lifeline to many people with disabilities. The law is clear but all too often ignored. People with guide dogs have a right to enter any business or access any service that someone without a support dog can.
I was shocked to hear that 81% of guide dog owners have been refused access to a restaurant, shop or taxi at some point because they were with their dog. The Open Doors campaign is vital in raising awareness with businesses that they have no right to stop people with guide dogs accessing their property or service.
Working hand-in-hand with the Guide Dogs’ charity I hope we can make a real change to how people think. We need to make society as accessible to everyone as possible.”