Disablism and Racism

I’m writing about an incident with a cab driver last weekend which made me very angry. I’ve deliberated long and hard about posting it but in the end decided to hell with it. Its my journal and although my view could be seen as racist by some, the person concerned was disablist in the extreme.

Six of us, plus one guide dog, mine, booked a taxi to take us home after an evening out. We declared the guide dog when booking so that should have been the end of it. The seven-seater taxi arrived and the first thing the driver, who was from some ethnic background or other, said was “I’m not carrying a dog”. He was told he had no choice.

He was then fiddling about with the seats and shouted at me to “move that dog”, whilst I was waiting to get in. Finally, he opened the boot which was just that, a boot with a covered lid, and told me to “put that dog in there”. To which I said no.

He over charged us on the way home and blatantly ignored us when we tried to ask him why the additional cost.

So. People come to live here and we are encouraged to respect them and their cultures. Fair enough. But where’s their respect for us? We use dogs as working animals in this country so get over it. Us disabled people who use assistance dogs have as much right to respect and equal service as everyone else and so often we don’t get it. The people who are the worst culprits are by and large people from Asian backgrounds. I for one am fed up with it.


About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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5 Responses to Disablism and Racism

  1. ezzie_j says:

    I’m in complain-mode with trent cars at the moment as it is, so I suggest you do that. I didn’t want yet another ranty entry in my journal, so I posted the story over at
    Good luck!

  2. narnaneana says:

    That is so typical! I’d certainly complain to the taxi company, and if it was a council licensed taxi company I’d report them to taxi licensing too – I’d think they can find the right driver from the journey details. Good luck!

  3. fleurette67 says:

    You should definitely complain about this
    Hi Mel! I agree with comments above, that you should definitely complain about this. You’re perfectly right, taxi drivers should accept that disabled people have working dogs who travel with them in taxis. Therefore, if some Muslim immigraintss can’t bear to be near dogs, they shouldn’t become taxi drivers in the UK, or anywhere else come to that. And when you booked the taxi you warned the company that you’d had a guide dog with you, so they should have sent a driver who wouldn’t refuse to take yuor dog. Everyone has a right to their beliefs, but there should be give and take on both sides: so, if a Muslim wants to become a taxi driver, he shouldn’t treat working dogs as unclean animals, he should accept them, and if he can’t he should get another job where he won’t come into contact with dogs.

  4. yuck
    hi mel, oh my gosh! what is it with taxi drivers this week? don’t know if you’ve heard of mine and ezzy’s insodent the other night, but i’m sick of crap treatment too. hugs.

  5. Anonymous says:

    bureaucratic crap
    You know what? I’m absolutely sick of the crappy idea of having to warn taxi companies or any other form of transport company for that matter, that disabled people have working dogs. I have a guide dog, and I don’t use taxi services for that very reason, and also because they’re so bloody expensive. If people can’t accept that when the dog is in working gear of any sort, then they can shove it sideways. They can’t expect you to put the dog where they want and not break the animal welfare act or whatever laws you have in the UK about animal welfare. How dare they! They’re supposed to provide you a service, but they’re forcing you to be cruel to your dog? All for their own proffit and their shitty dumb religious or other ugly beliefs! (Sorry, but there’s no excuses for their unreasonability, and excuse my French too)
    Your dog is your mobility aid and there’s no questions or dispute. You shouldn’t even have to warn God that you have a dog with you, because if people won’t accept that she’s your mobility aid, then they can get the sack. I’m not sorry to say that one. Just tell the taxi companies and the drivers to get a life. I know bus drivers in Australia where I live, who treat people as nicely as they treat sighted people even though some of the disabled people have assistance dogs, even though some of the drivers undoubtedly don’t have or like dogs! Why can’t taxi drivers be like that too? Taxi drivers are the same all over the world, so I’ve told them to get a life by my conduct towards them: total boycott. Even my mother understands where I’m coming from now because of their poor service in general besides the guide dog issues. In a few months I’ll have to use the taxi services to get to and from my future job, so God please help me if the drivers f*** me around.
    Sorry for the long rant; I had to get this off my chest, and I figured you’d understand where I’m coming from.
    Michelle and Troy

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