A blind man was reportedly refused service at a post office because he brought his guide dog inside with him.
Craig Roberts, a 36-year-old glaucoma sufferer in Manchester, England, visited the post office in Chadderton and was immediately told he’d need to leave his dog, Bruce, outside if he wanted to enter the store.
“This incident has really knocked my confidence and made me think if I can’t take Bruce to the Post Office, will this [happen] again at the shops or a café?” Roberts said. “It was really embarrassing and humiliating.”
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Roberts and others inside the post office immediately objected to the employee’s refusal to serve him, and he was eventually allowed to bring Bruce in with him. According to Roberts, it took 10 minutes to convince the post office employee to let him bring Bruce inside.
Thanks to England’s Equality Act, enacted in 2010, people with disabilities are entitled to the same right to services as people without disabilities. Under the act, refusal to let guide dogs and assistance dogs into public places is strictly prohibited.
The post office later apologized to Roberts for the incident, but he told reporters that he would accept a written apology.
Response to Roberts’ story on Reddit was overwhelmingly supportive.
“Glad to see other people standing up for the guy, the law, and human dignity,” one Redditor, TheFinalDeception, said. “I live in the [U.K.] and [I can't] imagine anyone objecting to a guide dog being around [people] in any public place. They are trained to be better behaved than most children,” another user, Drcl, wrote.
According to one Redditor, Roberts’ experience was one that is a more common occurrence than people might imagine.
“My mom has a guide dog,” commenter SpookySP said. “Nothing made me more pissed off when she was denied entry to a local supermarket. The security guard didn't know the law. We made it clear to his bosses and printed the laws for future use if we run into him again. Curiously he seemed to get reassigned or fired.”
Do you think the post office had the right to refuse service to Roberts unless he kept his dog outside?