Ont. woman says Uber driver rejected her guide dog
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Ottawa’s Kate Griff
Published Sunday, February 3, 2019 3:46PM EST
An Ottawa woman, who is blind, says she wants to see better enforcement of anti-discrimination laws after yet another Uber driver refused to give her and her guide dog a ride.
Shelby Travers told CTV Ottawa that she ordered an Uber on Thursday, and the driver had difficulty finding her despite attempts to inform him of her location and the fact that she was with her guide dog Frances.
Travers says that when the car finally arrived, the driver unrolled the window and said he doesn’t take dogs.
“As I was saying ‘I’m blind, she’s my guide dog,’ he drove away with me still holding onto the car,” Travers said. “Then I just broke down like in the streets,” she added. “My arm felt like it was yanked out.”
Uber issued a written statement saying that it was upset about what happened and that drivers must agree to accommodate riders with service animals because that is the law.
Travers said she’s experienced similar incidents in Calgary and Toronto.
“I just want this to stop happening,” she added.
“We rely heavily on different forms of transit because we cannot drive,” Travers explained.
Travers said that Uber didn’t make clear to her whether or not the driver would lose the privilege of working with the service.
All 13 provinces and territories have legislation to punish service providers who discriminate against people with disabilities.
Two years ago, a B.C. man, who is visually impaired, lost his discrimination complaint against a taxi driver who refused to give him a ride. In that case, the driver said he couldn’t accommodate the man’s guide dog due to allergies.