Former disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission against two Uber drivers who refused to accept his guide dog in Sydney. One of the driver “yelled a lot” and finally agreed to take them but he drove in a “pretty scary manner,” Innes told.
Am regular @uber user. Refused twice tonight with guide dog. They have 7 days before discrim complaint. Will report progress.
— Graeme Innes (@Graemeinnes) March 24, 2016
Sixty-one-year-old Graeme Innes said that he booked an Uber cab to take him to pick up his daughter from a Sydney hospital on March 24. But when the driver came he refused to accept the pet in the car.
When Innes told him that he had to take the guide dog with him the driver said, “No this is a new car, this is a brand-new car, it’s a $90,000 car, I can’t take animals in the car – it will just make it messy.”
Innes stated, “I told him that this was a guide dog and that it was a requirement but he refused to take us.”
Innes then ordered a second Uber cab.
When the second driver came he was initially reluctant to take Innes but changed his mind when the blind man told him that he was legally required to do so, as reported by 9news.com.au.
Innes noted, “By that time I was feeling really frustrated because I wanted to pick my daughter up. So when the car arrived, I got in the car and the driver yelled a lot. He finally agreed to take me but he drove in a pretty scary manner.”
He went on, “It can be a really damaging and negative experience that can send some people backwards in their independence.”
The former disability discrimination commissioner then complained to Uber about the incident and also lodged another complaint with the human rights commission, reported The Age.
Lodged discrim complaint against @uber and drivers after no satisfactory response to two guide dog refusals. Will keep you posted.
— Graeme Innes (@Graemeinnes) April 9, 2016
In March, 13 disability groups jointly made a plea to Transport Minister Jacinta Allan to legalise Uber only if it commit legally to serve passengers in wheelchairs.
Uber had been legalised in New South Wales four months ago.