Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

Assistance dog not allowed on bus

Conciliations: Disability discrimination in service provision​

Published: 17 March 2017

A woman with post-traumatic stress disorder who has an assistance dog was unable to get on a bus because the dog was barred from entry.

Story​

The mother of a woman who has post-traumatic stress disorder made a complaint of disability discrimination after her daughter’s assistance animal was refused entry to a bus. The dog was fully trained, registered as an assistance animal and wearing the appropriate jacket to indicate this. The woman also held the dog’s license in her hand while waiting for the bus.

Instead of going on the bus, the woman returned home. Her mother rang the bus company and was not satisfied with the response, so she lodged a complaint of disability discrimination on behalf of her daughter. 

When the Board contacted the bus provider, they said that had already been alerted to the situation by the daughter herself and had said they would address the problem. They assured the complainant that they were taking the issue seriously, and would discipline the driver and reconfirm with all staff that assistance animals were allowed on the bus. This resolved the complaint. 

What are my rights to goods and services?

  • In general, you have the right to apply for and get goods or services in the same way as people who don't have a disability.
  • Anything that you need to get into to access a service (for example a building or transport) must be accessible to you, unless it would cause the owner 'unjustifiable hardship' to make it accessible.
  • There may be less expensive changes that could improve accessibility without causing unjustifiable hardship. If this is the case, the changes should be made. At the very least, service providers should have plans for how they are going to make their service accessible in the future.

More information on Disability discrimination

​​​Back to March 2​017 - Equal Time Newsletter​​​​​​​

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