By Victoria Nolan, Head, Stakeholder Relations & Community Engagement
Stela Trudeau is tired of being denied access to taxis and rideshare services because she travels with her guide dog, and she knows she is not alone.
Guide dog handlers are often denied access or refused service from businesses or facilities, with taxi and rideshare refusals being the most frequent.
“Like many guide dog handlers, I’ve been told countless times from drivers that 'they’re allergic to dogs', or that 'they don't accept them'. Drivers will often drive away when they see me waiting with my guide dog – sometimes without even talking to me,” says Stela. "Something definitely needs to change.”
In response, Stela has started a Facebook page and Instagram page called "Denied A Ride" and she is asking guide dog handlers across Canada to use the hashtag #DeniedARide to highlight when refusals happen to them.
"If we can all start recording these incidents, we can raise awareness of just how often these acts of discrimination are happening, and hopefully that will inspire some change."
If you are denied access or refused service, CNIB Guide Dogs may be able to help. Email Victoria Nolan, Head of Stakeholder Relations & Community Engagement, at Victoria.Nolan@cnib.ca.