Walk-about with politicians encountered problems taking guide dogs into 30 per cent of Watford food outlets

Watford Observer: Guide dog owners blindfold Watford mayor and MP Guide dog owners blindfold Watford mayor and MP

Thirty per cent of Watford food outlets visited by Disability Watford had a problem allowing guide dogs into the premises.

Disability Watford held a walk-about to vet 100 local businesses on their guide dog policies.

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill and Watford MP Richard Harrington took the tour blindfolded to get a feel for life as a visually impaired person.

Watford Observer:

Groups of guide dog owners and supporters toured around the town centre and adjoining streets including the Parade, Clarendon Road, High Street, Market street, Lower High Street, King’s street and part of Vicarage Road, concentrating mainly on food outlets.

The organisation’s chairman Leigh Hutchings said they were told to eat outside with the dogs - even though it was raining at the time.

He said: "There were 20 places that when an assistance dog owner tried to take the dogs in there was a problem or it was not straight forward.

"Thirteen of these presented a real or major problem and we had two outright refusals - with these having an outright no dogs allowed policy.

"Even though we had representatives working with us from Guide Dogs for the Blind they still would not allow the dog in."

A further seven establishments in Market Street also took issue with letting assistance dogs into their shops.

Both the Mayor and MP wore blindfolds and glasses to simulate visual impairment.

A rehabilitation officer demonstrated handling a guide dog, how to use a white cane properly and pointed out hazards along the way.

They caught the no. 10 bus to the hospital.

Leigh Hutchings continued: "On this route to the bus stop Dorothy was nearly ridden into by a careless and inconsiderate cyclist.

"Members of the public remonstrated with the cyclist.

"The bus ride was only for one stop, but proved to them the need for audio and visual information to be installed on all our buses."

Comments (2)

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2:56pm Wed 30 Apr 14

garston tony says...

Whats that saying about walking in someones shoes, good on those two for doing this. The proof is in the pudding however and will they be active in trying to make things easier/better for the visually impaired and indeed other people with differing abilities?
Whats that saying about walking in someones shoes, good on those two for doing this. The proof is in the pudding however and will they be active in trying to make things easier/better for the visually impaired and indeed other people with differing abilities? garston tony
  • Score: 9

3:19pm Wed 30 Apr 14

TRT says...

Makes a change to Dotty's usual rose-tinted glasses.
Makes a change to Dotty's usual rose-tinted glasses. TRT
  • Score: -1

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