22/08/2011

Harwich Cafe Bans Guide Dogs

A blind lady and her guide dog have been banned from eating or drinking in a small cafe in the Essex port town of Harwich, the home base of ableize disability resource.

Apparently the owner Gary Cox somehow believes he is above the laws of the Equality Act 2010 and has taken it upon himself to ban not only this guide dog and his owner but all guide dogs simply because one guide dog was sick in his small town cafe over a year ago. (not sure if the dog that was sick ate their)

Staff at the small cafe claim that the ban is able to be made within Health and Safety and hygiene laws. Well sorry to disappoint you Mr Cox but whoever gave you that advice was talking out of the back of the head as I'm sure you'll soon find out when the Equality and Human Rights Commission jump on your back followed closely by the Guide Dogs Alliance.

Banning a guide dog from a business providing such services is like telling wheelchair users that they must leave their wheelchairs outside, it is blatant disability discrimination and very much against current disability laws, laws that frankly Mr Cox should have been aware of not only in the areas concerning guide dogs but also in all access requirements for all disabilities, deaf, blind, mobility impaired, learning difficulties etc, becoming a service provider means you have to meet certain requirements and these are just some of them.

What Mr Cox probably is not aware of is that he has one of the UK's longest established accessibility auditors living right on his doorstep and I'm sure they will be looking closely at the future of his and his cafes staff discriminatory behaviour. I guess it's time that this cafe owner to wake up and smell the coffee!

Finally a question for Mr Cox, if a child is sick will you ban all children?