David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Mon Jul 25 01:20:04 UTC 2016

FROM: Tennessee Association of Guide Dog Users
DATE: July 18, 2016
TO: All Media
RE: Criminal Case Against Uber Driver
James Boehm
secretary at nfb-tn.org


On April 28, 2016, James Boehm and his guide dog Shep were left 
stranded at an animal hospital in Murfreesboro, TN. An Uber driver 
defiantly squealed away, refusing to transport the guide dog team home.

"I was distraught and infuriated all at once!" stated Mr. Boehm, who 
filed a police report with the Rutherford County sheriff's 
department. After an investigation, the state Attorney filed charges 
against Rolonda Douglas. The hearing is scheduled for August 9th, 
2016 at 8:00 a.m. at the Rutherford County Judicial Building located 
at 20 North Public Square.

"This case is so important because it sets a precedent for all Uber, 
Lyft, or other taxi drivers," says James Boehm.  "If they 
discriminate against a service animal user, the violators will be prosecuted."

Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee and 
their guide dogs, along with other service dog users from around the 
state plan to attend the hearing to support the cause. "Such 
incidents occur far too often and we want to present a strong,united 
front in support of this case," says james Brown, president of the 
NFB of Tennessee. "We want to make a statement that such 
discrimination is not acceptable.

Not only does the Americans with Disabilities Act make it clear that 
disabled individuals have the right to be accompanied by a service 
dog, Tennessee statute 62.7.112 strengthens the ADA by providing 
criminal penalties for such discrimination. As a Class C misdemeanor, 
violating the civil rights of a disabled person accompanied by a 
service dog is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of 
up to $50. (The entire text of the Tennessee statute accompanies this release.)
# # #

About the National Federation of the Blind

           The National Federation of the Blind is the oldest and 
largest organization of the blind in the United States. The NFB knows 
that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your 
future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people because 
low expectations are the obstacles between blind people and our 
dreams. You can live the life you want! Blindness is not what holds 
you back. The Federation provides scholarships to blind students; 
support for those who are blind or losing their eyesight; advocacy 
for the blind facing discrimination; and educational programs for the 
general public on topics of blindness. The NFB is not an organization 
that speaks on behalf of the blind; we are the blind speaking for ourselves.

           The Tennessee Association of Guide Dog Users (TAGDU) is a 
strong and proud division of the National Association of Guide Dog 
Users. The National Association of Guide dog Users is the nation's 
leading membership organization for blind people who use guide 
dogs.  NAGDU is a strong and proud division of the National 
Federation of the Blind. NAGDU conducts public awareness campaigns on 
issues of guide dog use, provides advocacy support for guide dog 
handlers who face discrimination, supports sound policy and effective 
legislation to protect the rights of guide dog users, offers 
educational programs to school and civic organizations, and functions 
as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind. For more 
information about the National Association of Guide Dog Users and to 
support their work, you can visit their website at


Or send an email message to

<mailto:Info at NAGDU.ORG>Info at NAGDU.ORG

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