Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

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Guide dogs can catch cabs

​​Published: 29 April 2016​​

The NSW Taxi Council found a novel way to raise awareness about guide dogs being allowed in taxis.​​

A recent survey revealed that 56% of NSW and ACT residents that have a guide dog had experienced discrimination in the past year, but the NSW taxi industry is trying hard to reduce the number of taxi drivers making that mistake.

For over ten years the NSW Taxi Council has been working with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to provide training for taxi drivers in their first year. This explains that people with guide dogs have the right under anti-discrimination law to take the dog on any form of transport. 

A person with vision impairment talks to drivers about their own experiences, and explains how good customer service can have a significant impact on the daily lives of people with a disability. The drivers also learn how best to help passengers with a vision impairment. 

image of Andrew McBride with Vito Giordano with cheque donation and a dog apprentice Picture 1: Andrew McBride from the NSW Taxi Council and Vito Girodano from Taxis Combined celebrate one of the donations with a young dog apprentice.

A collection is taken up at the end of training sessions, and so far this has raised over $60,000 which has been used to sponsor the breeding, rearing and training of two guide dogs.

image of Elaine Hesket and her guide dog DarcyPicture 2: Elaine Heskett and her guide dog Darcy

The first dog, Darcy, has completed his training and is now in service with Elaine Heskett on the NSW South Coast. According to Ms Heskett, Darcy has “given me back my freedom and independence that I have missed so much” since her previous dog, Evelyn, retired. Darcy is working well, providing invaluable assistance to Mrs Heskett in her travels and enjoying life near the beach.

image of Elaine Heskett addressing taxi drivers with her guide dog Darcy Picture 3: Elaine Heskett addresses taxi drivers with Darcy at her side

The Council is currently awaiting allocation of their second sponsor puppy. They will run a competition to select the puppy’s name which will be announced in June.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT​ has also produced an advertisement for the back of taxis which says “Any dog can chase a car. Ours can catch a cab’'It has also been used in the Taxi Council magazine and in training materials.

image of guidedog ad at the back of taxis​​Picture 4: The advertisement at the back of taxis

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

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