[nagdu] Taxi access

Ann Edie annedie at nycap.rr.com
Sat Aug 29 17:15:48 UTC 2015

Hi, Dan,

I agree with you that taxi access is a real and continuing problem for blind
people and people with other disabilities who use service dogs, doubly so
because we can't see the number of the cab that pulls away when the driver
sees the dog, and we can't prove that a driver declined to take a job
because he/she didn't want the dog in his/her vehicle, unless someone is
uninformed enough to actually admit to discrimination on the basis of
disability status. This situation is very similar to the issue of hiring
discrimination: it is virtually impossible to prove in court that a company
didn't hire a blind/visually impaired job applicant based on that person's
disability. There are always other convenient grounds to explain why the
person didn't get the job. It is my impression that few, if any, employment
discrimination cases have been won by blind persons who had strong
suspicions that they were turned down due to the employer's misconceptions
and discriminatory beliefs about blindness, despite the fact that employment
discrimination on the basis of disability is clearly prohibited by law. I
don't know how we can remedy these issues. Perhaps penalizing companies
which do not employ a representative sample of various minority groups
within their workforce that corresponds with their proportions within the
larger community would be one way of ensuring employment equity. And perhaps
sting operations, such as those conducted in Washington, D. C. that I think
I remember hearing about, which demonstrate that persons accompanied by
service dogs are routinely passed by or refused rides by cab drivers, if
these findings can be followed up with large enough fines or other penalties
to make an impression on the taxi businesses, could also bear fruit. So, my
feeling is that data collection and law enforcement measures are the only
solution to these issues. We can educate til the cows come home, but it is
easy for businesses and individuals to ignore all the education in the world
unless there is a meaningful and attention-grabbing cost to continuing the
discriminatory practices.

Anyway, that's my take on the matter.


-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Dan Weiner via
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2015 7:23 AM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Cc: Dan Weiner
Subject: [nagdu] Taxi access

All right, guys.
I know we all have different opinions about notifying or not notifying and I
can respect all of your opinions.
But here's the larger picture:
Access to cabs, or whatever transportation, taxis uber and so ion is a real
problem for guide dog users in thhis country.
After eighty years of guide dog training, state and federal laws and so on,
it is still a problem.
Almost all guide dog users I know have had issues, some more than others but
I'ts the luck of the draw.
So what are we as blind guide dog users, and as members of the blind
movement,  going to do about it?
What can we do, campaigns, legislation, whatever, can we do to make sure
guide dog access problems with cabs becomes a thing of the past/ Any ideas?
I'm willing to help out definitely.
Legislation exists obviously but I can tell you from personal experience
that trying to get it enforced is a nightmare it takes months or years to
engage in any type of complaint and the effect ends up being minimal. If
that weren't  the case then why is it still happening. In Maryland it was
easily one out of every four cab rides I had  an access issue, the only way
I avoided it was by getting numbers of drivers I liked and using them.  I
tried complaining to the companie(that's  might as well have been  a joke)
going to the cab regulating bureau, and even putting incomplaints with
whatever the Hell the name of the commission wa that is supposed to regulate
ADA issues and so on.
So, let's all put our thinking caps on and over the course of the next few
weeks or months start thinking of some strategy to improve this situation.

Basically let's be blunt, I don't care if it's allergies, fear of dogs,
religion, or just a distaste for dogs and dog hair...the access issues are
happening because they, in this case the driver, can get away with it. No
fines (unless your lucky enough to win some civil suit) no punishment  no
censure. I se two issues, the companies being at fault and the driver being
at fault....and a general lack of concern about consequences because there
are none.

Dan the man

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Michael Hingson
via nagdu
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 10:17 PM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Cc: Michael Hingson
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Trying to understand: denial of access bad allergies


I hear your thoughts, but you can't have it both ways. If on the one hand
you think it is rude for a driver on the street to just refuse you or drive
away when you hail a cab why do you think it will be different when you
identify to a dispatcher that you have a guide dog? First, what makes you
believe the dispatcher himself or herself may not have prejudices and put
you at the bottom of the list no matter when you call or somehow convey to
their cabbies that you are not as valued?

Then there are the drivers themselves. Suppose someone simply does not want
a dog in their car, and is not one of the %.5 who have allergies that rise
to the level of a disability? Are they going to act differently if you hail
them or if they respond to a call? I think not.

It is not being uncaring or discourteous to not identify that we have guide
dogs. Remember, when someone denys us because of our dogs then they are in
fact denying us. The dogs do not have rights.

If these people are going to drive the public then they need to take ALL the
responsibilities that go along with being a servant to the public. It is
that simple.

Now, if a driver is called to fetch me, drives up, and emphatically says
that they have an serious allergy and can't take but will call another
driver and stay with me until their replacement arrives I won't argue with
that. I may or may not be able to prove whether they have an allergy or not,
but at least they did the right thing.

The Burdon should NOT be on me, but the driver. No, whether it be Uber, Lift
or a taxi the reality that the preponderance of refusals are inappropriate
and thus we need to take a strong stand including not giving advanced
information which drivers and possibly dispatchers will use to make up the
rules as they go along. Airlines have done that for years and so have ground
transportation people. 

Best Regards,

Michael Hingson

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Debby Phillips
via nagdu
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 6:51 PM
To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
<nagdu at nfbnet.org>; nagdu at nfbnet.org
Cc: Debby Phillips <semisweetdebby at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Trying to understand: denial of access bad allergies

Hi Louise, but then people would have to tell the dispatch person that they
have a service dog, which I personally don't have a problem with.  You know
folks, if you are calling a cab to go somewhere, it's true the law is on our
side, they're supposed to take us.  And many of you think it's a terrible
thing to disclose that you have a dog.  But wouldn't it be fairer to the cab
company to let them know so that they can send someone who does not have
allergies, or the driver is so terrified of our dog that he or she can
hardly drive for fear of the dog getting too close? 
Sometimes we need to use some common sense.  It's true I have the right not
to disclose.  But if the cab arrives and the driver is truly allergic to
dogs, I have wasted his or her time, and am wasting mine as the cab company
has to send someone else.  Or Uber, or Lyft.

I once had a doctor who had severe allergies to dogs.  The first time I saw
her, I had my dog with me.  She opened the door, saw him, and it was the one
and only time she acted in an unprofessional manner.  She rushed out
shouting, "Why is there a dog in my room?" She apologized and said that she
had to ask me not to bring the dog into her exam room again.  Having gone
through dog allergies myself, I totally understood where she was coming
from, and either left my dog home, or left him in the waiting room with my
husband or a friend for the remainder of the time she was my primary care
physician.  We have rights, but we also have a responsibility, in my
opinion, to care about other people.  Many of you don't know what it's like
to have your throat be scratchy all the time, nose running, not able to
breathe well because of an allergy to dog.  And some allergy relief meds
make people sleepy.  So maybe when calling a cab, telling them isn't such a
bad idea.  Just my opinion.

It's a different matter when you're hailing a taxi on the city street.  I do
think it's rude and inconsiderate for a taxi to just pull away.  I
personally think if they can't or won't pick someone up, they should at
least have the courtesy to pull up and 
tell the person that they're calling another cab.     Debby and 

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