[NABS-L] NABS-L Cab driver suspended

Julie McGinnity kaybaycar at gmail.com
Tue Jul 17 21:51:24 UTC 2018

Hi all,

Yes, Tyler and Aleeha are quite right on this one.  I have been denied
Ubers before, and the original article that was shared hits home
because one of those Uber drivers actually tried to put my dog in the

I have been working dogs for ten years, and fly a few times a year.
Last year I flew every six weeks or so.  There has never been a
problem accommodating my guide dog with the limited space at my feet
under the seat.  I will say that if you fly Fronteer, you may need to
take the middle seat because that will be the best fit.  But even
then, the other passengers were super friendly and chill about having
a guide dog next to them.  For those who feel they need more room, the
bulkhead seats are available.  I don't personally fly bulkhead, but
that accommodation can be requested at the gate.  There is no need to
let the airline know ahead of time that you have a dog.

I would recommend never giving notice to a company that you have a
service animal.  All this does is invite them to discriminate.  They
will choose what seat they think works best for you.  They will find
you assistance you don't need and didn't ask for.  They will give you
all kinds of attention you don't want.  Sometimes, they will deny you
access.  Just don't open yourself up for that headache.  If you need a
large cab because you're traveling with a larger group, by all means
tell them that you have four people and need a four-door vehicle.
These companies should not be given any reason or excuse to
discriminate against us.

You asked about the line between our responsibilities as service
animal users and our rights.  Our responsibilities are to keep our
dogs well-behaved, under control, and well-groomed at all times.  Our
responsibility is to know how our dogs fit under seats, in cars, and
in hotel rooms among others.  If you or anyone else doesn't know how
to fit a dog under an airplane seat, talk to the many handlers who
have done it before.  I am not as cool as this message makes me
seem...  :)  But I routinely fit a 75-pound Labrador under the
airplane seat in front of me.  It's nothing to him at this point.
Many of us on this list have lived in dorm rooms with dogs and fit
them into small classrooms on campus.  These dogs are trained to
handle small spaces for hours at a time.

You are correct that a dog cannot block an isle, so we say goodbye to
the isle seat as dog users.  But honestly, other than obeying the
safety rules like the one about the isle, we have the right to sit
where we want.  I don't like when I am told by someone representing a
business what I should do with my dog.  It is my responsibility to
know where the dog fits and to ensure that my dog's presence doesn't
inconvenience everyone else.  Hope this makes sense.


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On 7/17/18, Littlefield, Tyler via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> I can assure you that I've taken many many more than 6 flights. I can
> also assure you that most attendants didn't even pay attention to the
> service animal being checked. That said, I can tell you that sometimes I
> was given an empty seat if it were available, but that kind of thing was
> done at the gate--sometimes, rarely at the counter.
> I can also tell you that I am the point of contact for Massachusetts for
> the Lyft and Uber guide dog denial work that the NFB is doing. One of
> these resulted in a lawsuit, the other resulted in structured settlement
> and the NFB is extending resources to pursue this issue. While I am glad
> that you have not been denied a cab due to a service animal, I've had it
> happen to me many many times, and so have many other blind people. It's
> important not to project your luck into these issues by saying that this
> doesn't happen, then throw responsibility at the feet of those of us who
> have been denied numerous times. I've probably had well over 100 Lyft
> denials, and some of those were in cities I've taken flights too, well
> over 6 flights as a matter of fact, some of them were in my own home city.
> It's also worth note that it is not my obligation, nor my duty to
> provide information that I have a guide dog to any cab company.
> Conversely, it is my right, and the duty and obligation of the cab
> company to follow federal law and not deny me simply because of a
> service animal. This said, I have informed many Lyft drivers of the fact
> that I do have a guide dog, and many times this concept doesn't sink in
> because the drivers that end up denying me are shocked at the idea of a
> dog in their car.
> Thanks,
> On 7/17/2018 4:52 PM, Ben Fulton via NABS-L wrote:
>> I have taken 6 flights so far, and an extra seat has been provided on
>> every
>> flight. I guess it is because I extended the courtesy to let them know
>> that
>> I have a dog with me. Also, when ordering a cab, I've never had it take
>> longer because I told them I have a dog. It hasn't been a problem at all,
>> and I've never had a cab driver show up and then be unable to provide me
>> with service. What responsibilities should lie with the person seeking
>> accommodations in making their request known to the service provider, in
>> a
>> way that allows the service provider to provide those accommodations.
>> Subject: Re: [NABS-L] NABS-L Cab driver suspended
>> Message-ID: <5b4cde07.1c69fb81.5c72e.9333 at mx.google.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>> Tyler is quite right. I travel by air and by cab all the time, and
>> neither
>> requires that I disclose my service animal. They offer that as a courtesy
>> to
>> those who wish to disclose, but we are not required. Under the law, your
>> dog
>> cannot take up more than your allotted seat space, so airlines do not
>> have
>> to give that to you. I know that some airlines, mainly in Canada, will
>> give
>> an extra seat upon request, but you still do not have to disclose.
>> Aleeha Dudley
>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>> From: Littlefield, Tyler via NABS-L
>> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 1:18 PM
>> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
>> Cc: Littlefield, Tyler; Ben Fulton
>> Subject: Re: [NABS-L] NABS-L Cab driver suspended
>> I travel a few times a year. airlines ask if you have a service animal,
>> but
>> they're not asking so they can keep the seat open. They will put someone
>> in
>> the seat next to you if it's a full flight, and if there's no room you
>> need
>> to learn how to position your dog properly.
>> Taxi services -do not- need to ask you if you have a guide dog. They
>> should
>> legally transport you, and predisclosing this information ahead of time is
>> a
>> problem. I am, nor should I be required to disclose that I have a guide
>> dog
>> so that they can try to find a cab driver who will accept my dog, because
>> that (from experience) takes longer to get a cab.
>> Thanks,
>> On 7/16/2018 1:08 PM, Ben Fulton via NABS-L wrote:
>>> I am also a guide dog user. So, I can say that some airlines do
>>> require you to let them know if you are travelling with an animal. -
>>> Some of the webpages even have a button that asks yes/no if you have a
>> service animal.
>>> This makes sense if they are to have your dog in the cabin, they need
>>> to make sure there is room. I have never been charged extra, but the
>>> airline does need to know because they keep the seat next to you open
>>> for
>> your dog.
>>> Not to be on the seat, of course, but because there is not enough room
>>> for your dog at your feet, and blocking the aisle is a hazard. I have
>>> flown with my dog several times now. So, I know what I'm talking about.
>>> Similarily, when you are travelling with multiple people the cab
>>> companies want to know how many people, so they know what vehicle to
>>> send. - They are not collecting information about you specifically,
>>> I'm not reading anything in all of this that says that the person has
>>> to give their name, so all that I'm saying is that the companies know
>>> what they are transporting, not the name of you or your dog. Just if
>>> they
>> need space that is suitable for a dog.
>>> Like if I was booking a cab for four people, I would let them know,
>>> and if I didn't and the company sent a two-door hatchback I couldn't
>>> blame them for it.
>>> The law is that they cannot deny you, that person's with a diability
>>> need to be accommodated, but it must be possible for them to
>>> accommodate. The accommodations cannot create undue hardship. If they
>>> are attempting to accommodate and failure to communicate results in
>>> there being undue hardship in implementing the accommodations then the
>>> person with a disability will have a more difficult time in
>>> establishing that their rights have been violated.
>>> Subject: Re: [NABS-L] NABS-L] Cab driver suspended
>>> Message-ID: <5b4bbea1.1c69fb81.cad4c.7068 at mx.google.com>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>> As a service animal user myself, I feel that it is totally
>>> inappropriate for a taxi company to collect information about me and
>>> my service animal. The law says that allergies and fear of dogs are
>>> not reasons a driver can deny someone with a service animal. Airlines
>>> also do not require notice of travel with a service animal.
>>> Aleeha
>>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>>> From: Ben Fulton via NABS-L
>>> Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2018 4:01 PM
>>> To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>> Cc: Ben Fulton
>>> Subject: [NABS-L] NABS-L] Cab driver suspended
>>> I agree. This is totally unacceptable. I wish that cab companies would
>>> start collecting information about whether the person requesting the
>>> ride has a service animal, so the company could send a driver who is
>>> not allergic. The data collection is lacking, and I wonder if any of
>>> the cab companies even ask their drivers about allergies.
>>> A number of airlines now ask about service dogs, and are quite
>>> accommodating when given the proper notice. Cab companies need to follow
>> suit.
>>> & what about the health risk that dog might experience riding in the
>> trunk.
>>> It seems like the dog might be breathing in more exhaust, it is
>>> certainly not legal for people to ride in trunks. The cabbie should
>>> have had dispatch send a replacement.
>>> Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2018 16:20:40 +0000
>>> From: Armando Vias <a.vias at outlook.com>
>>> To: "nabs-l at nfbnet.org" <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>>> Subject: [NABS-L] Cab driver suspended
>>> Message-ID:
>>> <BL0PR01MB40340D4130120FB7695834AB9E5F0 at BL0PR01MB4034.prod.exchangelab
>>> s.com>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>> Hey guys. I just came across the story. A cab driver got suspended for
>> this.
>>> It is about a blind woman and her service dog. Some of you might have
>>> heard about this. I believe that this is wrong. This is totally
>>> unacceptable. Here is the link.
>>> https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Allergy/allergic-cabbie-forces-eye-dog-r
>>> ide-tr
>>> unk-fined/story?id=13791380
>>> Sent from my iPhone
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> --
> Take Care,
> Tyler Littlefield
> Tyler Littlefield Consulting: website development and business
> solutions. <http://tylerlittlefield.me> My personal site
> <http://tysdomain.com> My Linkedin
> <https://www.linkedin.com/in/ty-lerlittlefield> @Sorressean on Twitter
> <http://twitter.com/sorressean>
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Julie A. McGinnity
MM Vocal Performance, 2015; President, National Federation of the
Blind Performing Arts Division; First Vice President, National
Federation of the Blind of Missouri

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