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MEDIA ALERT: Perth Seeing Eye Dog handlers call for discrimination to end ahead of International Guide Dog Day

Vision Australia 2 mins read
Seeing Eye Dogs are legally entitled to access public spaces, but are often discriminated against.

Media Alert

 

Seeing Eye Dogs | Seeing Eye Dogs Australia

Anywhere, anytime: Seeing Eye Dog access rights must be respected across the community

Ahead of International Guide Dogs Day (Wednesday 24 April), Perth based Seeing Eye Dog handlers and staff are reminding the wider community of the legally protected rights of Seeing Eye Dogs and their handlers to access all public places.

A group of handlers and staff will visit the well-known South Perth Observation Deck at 10am on Tuesday, April 23 to spread the message of their rights and educate others about the need to accept Seeing Eye Dogs.

Under law across Australia, Seeing Eye Dogs cannot be refused access to public places, including all forms of public transport, hospitality venues, hotels and other accommodation and workplaces. Despite these legal protections, refusals unfortunately still occur.

“Refusing access to a Seeing Eye Dog and their handler is discrimination and happens all too often. Unfortunately, we find that people are unaware of the legal rights of Seeing Eye Dogs and a refusal has a direct impact on the ability of Seeing Eye Dog handlers to be active and independent members of the community, just like anyone else,” Chris Edwards, Vision Australia director of government relations and advocacy, said.

“We want people to understand they’re breaking the law when they refuse a Seeing Eye Dog, but we also want them to understand the impact it has on the handler. Seeing Eye Dogs are a vital mobility aid for people who are blind or have low vision and they’re extensively trained to be calm in public places and are clean and well-groomed,” Chris said.

“There is no reason a Seeing Eye Dog and their handler should ever be refused access to an area they’re legally entitled to enter.” 

Further Details:

What

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs aim to educate the Perth community about their legal rights

When

Tuesday 23 April, from 10:00am.

Where

South Perth Observation Deck

Vision and Audio Opportunities

  • Three Seeing Eye Dogs (a black, yellow and chocolate labrador) and their handlers
  • Handlers and staff available for interview.

 

- Ends –

Further enquiries:

Phil McCarroll, 0416 632 253 or phil.mccarroll@visionaustralia.org.

About Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs:

 

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs is the only national provider, trainer, and breeder of Seeing Eye Dogs in Australia.

 

Our Seeing Eye Dogs support people across the country who are blind or have low vision to live safe, active and independent lives.

 

Visit our website at www.sed.visionaustralia.org

 

 

 

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