[nagdu] Cab drivers in DC pass blind people with guide dogs

Sherri flmom2006 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 5 03:02:30 UTC 2010

An interesting message. Just giving credit to the sender. Wonder what would happen if we did a similar study in say the Tampa or Orlando area? Only problem I have with the article is that it said the blind people were "put" in certain places. I would have preferred the word "stood", because being "put" makes us sound like inanimate objects! Just being picky I guess.

From: leadership-bounces at acb.org [mailto:leadership-bounces at acb.org] On Behalf Of Eric Bridges
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 1:04 PM
To: leadership at acb.org; announce at acb.org
Subject: [leadership] In study, half of D.C. cab drivers pass by blind people with guide dogs

The below article appears in today's Washington Post. ACB is proud to have   provided all of the testers for this study and looks forward to continuing our work with the Equal Rights 




By Henri E. Cauvin

Washington Post Staff Writer 
Wednesday, September 1, 2010; 10:04 AM 

In a study by a civil rights watchdog group, taxi drivers in the District often drove past blind people who were trying to hail a cab while accompanied by guide dogs. 

This Story

In study, half of D.C. cab drivers pass by blind people with guide dogs

Shedding light on sidewalk safety

The Equal Rights Center, in a report released Wednesday morning, said it conducted 30 tests earlier this year and that in half of the tests, drivers passed a man or woman with a guide dog to pick up a person who did not have a guide dog. In three of the cases where the taxi did stop for the blind person, the driver attempted to impose a surcharge for transporting the dog, the Equal Rights Center said. 

Under local and federal law, businesses, including taxis, must make reasonable accommodations to blind people and their service dogs and may not impose surcharges for transporting a service dog. But blind people in the District have complained for years that some taxi drivers flout the law. 

Prompted by such concerns, the Equal Rights Center, which is part of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, undertook an investigation, assisted by the law firm Hogan Lovells. 

In each of the 30 tests, which were conducted between March and May, the Equal Rights Centers placed a blind person with a guide dog and a sighted person on a high-traffic thoroughfare in the city. The blind person was placed about 100 feet closer to oncoming traffic so that he or she would be the first prospective passenger a taxi would encounter. 

With a video camera rolling, the Equal Rights Center recorded 15 taxis bypassing the blind passenger for the sighted person standing farther away. Video clips of some of the encounters can be seen here. In its report, the Equal Rights Center said its findings made clear that more needs to be done to ensure that the rights of blind people are protected. Taxi drivers in the District and elsewhere have long faced scrutiny for passing up prospective black passengers, and several years ago, the D.C. police conducted sting operations intended to deter discrimination by taxi drivers. 

The Equal Rights Center said that the police, the D.C. Taxi Commission and the D.C. Office of Human Rights need to adopt a more aggressive approach to addressing taxi-driver bias against the blind, stepping up both education and enforcement. 

"The law is in place," said Ashley N. White, outreach manager for the Equal Rights Center, "but no one is really enforcing it." 

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