[nagdu] Certification was RE: Uber sued for allegedly refusing rides to the blind andputting a dog in the trunk

Nicole Torcolini ntorcolini at wavecable.com
Fri Sep 12 03:14:46 UTC 2014

We have been round and round on this list about this topic numerous  times.
I know that some of the newer members were not included in those
discussions, so I will summarize here, but I would really prefer not to
start the whole discussion again as it always ends up in the same place.
The idea of certification sounds fine in theory, but, as soon as you start
filling in the fine grained details, it becomes apparent that the cons
outweigh the pros. Who will do the certification? How do you make sure that
that entity does not purposefully deny people certification? What will the
dogs be certified in? It may be fairly straightforward for guide dogs, but
there are several different kinds of service dogs, many of which are
specifically trained to meat the unique needs of their handlers. Who will
pay for the certification? How will people get to the certification center?
And, above all, this will not stop people from making fake certification
cards or certificates or whatever. It also most certainly will not change
the perceptions that some people have about service dogs. Yes, some people
had a bad experience with a fake service dog, and that is why they don't
like service dogs. But some people just don't like service dogs for no good
reason, and having a certification process is not going to change that.
And, to end with a quote from the email for today for A Word a Day:
You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the
guilty. -Jessica Mitford, author, journalist, and civil rights activist

Nicole and Lexia

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Valerie Gibson
via nagdu
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2014 10:55 AM
To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Uber sued for allegedly refusing rides to the blind
andputting a dog in the trunk


I posted a rant on facebook about something relating to this, so I'll say it
again here.

The only thing that gives your guide dog programs credibility is the work
they've put into making the public aware of the fact that they train guide

If I printed out a card saying, "American Akita Guide dog Foundation", made
it look all official,etc, it legally would have the same merrit as a guide
dog program, even though there is no "american Akita Guide Dog foundation".

With dog trainers: Your next door neighbor could put a sign in his yard
saying, "bob's dog training Business", and he would be in his right to call
himself a dog trainer.  

There is no such thing as a licensed dog trainer.  For the trainers of guide
dogs, those owner trained and those in programs, the only thing that trainer
has that an ordinary citizen doesn't have is knowledge in dog training and,
maybe, a certificate from a program to show that they do have knowledge in
dog training.

I've said that I intended to become certified by the CCPDT, and while this
would be an achievement for me, it would make me no less qualified to train
dogs than someone who has my knowledge but does not have the certificate.
In fact, the only thing that would make my certificate valid is the fact
that the certification council of professional dog trainers is publicly
recognized as an institution that works with dog trainers. 

This is why the business of service dogs and their handlers and trainers in
public places is so grey.   

In my oppinion, if we licensed dog training and made trainers need a license
to train service animals, we might be able to illiminate the number of
people who come into shops with an ESA (emotional suport animal" or "therapy
dog" who is just a pet.  

I believe ID cards could be given out to handlers of service dogs that would
point to the trainer or something.  And because dog training would be a
license, the trainer could face reprecussions by falsifying any information.

This suggestion is just one that's recently come to mind.  I'm not sure how,
legistically, dog trainer licenses would work or how that it should affect
the handler, but I think it should be done for service dogs at the very
least.  Partly this would seek to iliminate the problem of fake service dogs
in shops mostly it would educate people on dog behavior and everything else
I've been saying that people should study.  In order to become certified by
the  CCPDT, you need X amount of hours working with dogs, and you need to
take a test on dog behavior, training edicate, etc.  It does cost, but if
you're training your own dog, it's cheaper than that.  It is time consuming,
but no more than training your own dog.

In a nutshell, ID cards or no, they legally have no merrit accept maybe by
some institution or state standards, and even that is grey because dog
training isn't licensed practice.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

On Sep 11, 2014, at 11:31 AM, Amber M via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:

> Hi Abby,
> Before I say anything about the situation, I would like to say that this
is just my opinion. So it is Benoni means correct, or upheld by majority.
But. And I do reiterate, this is my opinion. When someone who attends a guy
dog school shows an ID to get out of a stressful situation, they then make
it difficult for the owner trained guy dog who comes after them. Because the
business then expects that an ID will be shown, and can be expected.
> I will not pretend that it is easier to stand up for your rights when you
are in a hurry, or when the person just doesn't seem to get it, etc. etc.
But just like you don't want a blind person who attends a school before you,
to make you look like you are not capable of doing for  yourself, and wished
they would take that extra moment to do something for themselves, owner
trainers have a really hard time going behind program trained dog handlers,
who do tend to use their ID a lot.
> Again, just my opinion, and by no means is it what everyone else believes.
> Best,
> Amber
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Sep 11, 2014, at 11:34 AM, Abigail Bolling via nagdu
<nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> The problem of explaining  that the dog is a service animal, I know this
may sound harsh, but as far as I know, the service animal schools give there
handlers ID cards for a reason. A lot of Dog users that I know refuse to
carry them, to which my opinion is a lot of situations could possibly be
avoided just by showing an ID card. 
>> I know we shouldn't have to show an ID card to make our point and it is
certainly annoying, but sometimes it is just easier to go that extra stupid
step to save a little headache later.  
>> Also, I know I said this on another post about this article, but it is
the responsibility of the handler to know where their dog is at all times,
so why did the handler let the dog be taken away from him and placed in the
trunk in the first place. 
>> Thanks,
>> Abby and my little Shadow, Jada.  
>> Abigail Bolling
>> Wright State University: Social Work
>> "Keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart, and just let the 
>> music play." (Julie Anderson Diamond)
>>> On Sep 11, 2014, at 8:33 AM, Ginger Kutsch via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
>>> Uber sued for allegedly refusing rides to the blind and putting a 
>>> dog in the trunk
>>> By Gail Sullivan September 10 Washington Post    
>>> Source:
>>> http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/09/10/uber-su
>>> ed-for-a 
>>> llegedly-refusing-rides-to-the-blind-and-putting-a-dog-in-the-trunk/
>>> An advocacy group for the blind is suing the app-based ride-sharing 
>>> service Uber, alleging the company discriminates against passengers 
>>> with service dogs.
>>> The federal civil rights suit filed Tuesday by the California 
>>> chapter of the National Federation of the Blind cites instances in 
>>> California and elsewhere when blind Uber customers summoned a car 
>>> only to be refused a ride once the driver saw them with a service 
>>> dog. In some cases, drivers allegedly abandoned blind travelers in 
>>> extreme weather and charged cancellation fees after denying them rides,
the complaint said.
>>> The complaint filed in a Northern California District Court cites 
>>> one instance where a California UberX driver put a service dog in 
>>> the trunk and refused to pull over when the blind passenger realized
where the animal was.
>>> On another occasion a passenger was trying to explain that his dog 
>>> was not a pet but a service animal when the driver allegedly cursed 
>>> at him and accelerated abruptly, nearly injuring the dog and 
>>> striking the passenger's friend, who is also blind, with an open car
>>> The group said it's aware of more than 30 times blind customers were 
>>> denied rides in violation of the American with Disabilities Act and 
>>> California state law.
>>> As a result, blind passengers are confronting unexpected delays and 
>>> "face the degrading experience of being denied a basic service that 
>>> is available to all other paying customers," the complaint said.
>>> Services such as Uber are quickly supplanting traditional taxis, a 
>>> service blind people rely on due to the limitations of public
>>> The National Federation of the Blind wants Uber to educate its 
>>> drivers about disability rights and punish the violators in addition 
>>> to providing a way for disabled passengers to immediately register 
>>> complaints when they are refused rides because of service dogs.
>>> In a statement reported by the San Francisco Examiner, Uber said its 
>>> policy is to terminate drivers who refuse to transport service 
>>> animals. "The Uber app is built to expand access to transportation 
>>> options for all, including users with visual impairments and other
disabilities," the statement said.
>>> However, Uber allegedly told some passengers it can't control what 
>>> drivers do because they are independent contractors. The company 
>>> advised them to let drivers know about their animals ahead of time, 
>>> said the Federation, which filed suit after Uber rejected its request to
negotiate a solution.
>>> The group claims the company closely monitors and controls its 
>>> drivers by managing payments and services through the app, and by 
>>> assessing driver performance based on customer feedback.
>>> In September 2013,California's Public Utilities Commission 
>>> classified UberX as a transportation provider because it functions 
>>> like a taxi dispatch. The commission also said that UberX may not 
>>> discriminate against the disabled, the Federation noted.
>>> Figuring out whether to treat Uber like a traditional taxi service 
>>> or something else is the subject of heated debate across the 
>>> country. Taxi services are required by federal law to serve the 
>>> disabled, even if drivers are independent contractors.
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