Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

​Assistance dog not allowed into cafe​

Conciliations - disability discrimination

Published: 10 April 2016

The complainant has multiple sclerosis and vision impairment. He uses an electric wheelchair and has an assistance dog for his vision impairment.  He said that he was ordered to leave a coffee shop by the owner and told that dogs were not allowed in places where food was prepared.  He was told he could be served if he left his two dogs tied up outside.  

The complainant said that he has trained one of his dogs and has been issued with a permit allowing this dog to travel on public transport and enter public places. His other dog was being trained at the time. He was unable to get an official guide dog as the organisation that supplies them does not have the facilities to train dogs for use with wheelchairs. 

The complaint was resolved following the Board’s contact with the respondent. The respondent said he had been unaware that assistance animals were allowed into places that served food and his concern at the time was for the consideration of his other patrons. 

The respondent was also concerned that the dog might cause damage to the café or other problems. He was told that the Anti-Discrimination Act does not affect the liability of an owner of an assistance dog for any injury, loss or damage caused by the dog. 

The respondent wrote to the complainant inviting him back to the coffee shop.  The complainant then advised that Board that he considered his complaint resolved.

​​Back to May 2016 - Equal Times ​Newsletter​​​​

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