[access-uk] Re: Guide Dpog complaints

Derek
I had a guide dog and a sighted guide on Saturday as we negotiated very difficult conditions in Oxford Street, London. Nobody could have imagined what we had to do. The roads were blocked off. I was instructing my sighted guide to go (as I had been instructed by Travel Mentoring (apparently an organisation which supports disabled people in terms of advice as to the best routes to take when using public transport). I had been given their professional advice, not obviously planned from the perspective of the giver of the advice doing the route, but sitting in an office and telling me what to do. There were so many pedestrians leading up to Christmas and we were all having to pass each other in a very narrow area. When someone walked in to my guide dog, my friend politely asked the person to 'take care' and pointed to Neela, sayhing 'watch the guide dog, we do not want her trampled upon. Now his reaction was that of anger and he retorted in his best middle-class English accent 'The dog walked in to ome, not me in to the dog'! It is fair to say that one would not expose a guide dog to potentially dangerous environments but we had not expected to find roads cordoned off preventing us from crossing the road and narrowing the walkway. End story was with my friend and sighted guide we were actually forced into the very busy Charring Cross Road in London with buses, taxis, cars, motor cyclists etc etc so we had to take a deep breath, move quickly and trust that we would not be 'all three' knocked down. I would avoid very busy areas myself if I thought Neela would be 'at risk' but that said, she is a young and newly trained guide dog and ready to accept all challenges having received a very high standard of guide training.

Eleanor & Neela
----- Original Message ----- From: "Derek Hornby" <derek.hornby_uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 4:09 PM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Guide Dpog complaints


Hi Jackie
You said:
"if  GDBA are suggesting to Andy that he shouldn't go into Glasgow at this
time of year with his dog, then I have to ask myself what the purpose of
having a dog is?"

Let me put it another way.
If a blind person has had mobility training with a long cane,
does that  always mean that person can *always* manage  with very
busy  conditions. No

It's just same with a guide dog.
Not all  guide dog owners can  safely manage very busy conditions.
GDBA  has obviously considered safety,  when giving Andy  advice.
And it's advice,  not an order.

Regards,  Derek
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