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Taxi driver certificate assures guide dog owners

Published Tuesday, 20 June 2017

new tactile certificate for taxi drivers with medical exemption from carrying guide dogs

A new tactile certificate to show when taxi drivers are medically exempt from carrying guide dogs has been introduced.

South Lanarkshire is only the second local authority in Scotland to make such a move which has been welcomed by Guide Dogs Scotland.

The actual exemption process has been in place for some time if a driver has medical proof that they are unable to have dogs in their taxi due to allergies.

However, communicating this and providing an adequate ‘proof’ to guide dog owners has always been tricky. Therefore this new tactile certificate should go some way to resolving this.

Laura Bradley, a guide dog owner from Blantyre, said: “It’s good to know that if a taxi driver says they can’t take me and my guide dog because of an allergy I can ask for this certificate.

“It has an embossed E in the bottom right hand corner that I can feel and for other guide dog owners who have some vision the black and white on the yellow background makes it instantly recognisable.

“I know how it feels to be refused access to transport and how it can knock your confidence.

“It is against the law to refuse an assistance dog as it’s discrimination and I feel that this certificate provides reassurance that this will not happen with taxis in South Lanarkshire.”

Emma Brown, Engagement Officer for Guide Dogs Scotland, added: “We are delighted the council has introduced this certificate. South Lanarkshire is a particularly key area as our offices are in Hamilton so we often have guide dog owners coming to the office by taxi.

“We’d like to thank the council for putting these measures in place and are keen to support other local authorities that also want to put this tactile certificate in place.”