[announce] In study, half of D.C. cab drivers pass by blind people with guide dogs
ebridges at acb.org
Wed Sep 1 17:04:16 GMT 2010
The below article appears in today's Washington Post. ACB is proud to have
provided all of the testers for this study and looks forward to continuing
our work with the Equal Rights
Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 1, 2010; 10:04 AM
In a study by a civil rights watchdog group, taxi drivers in the District
often drove past blind people who were trying to hail a cab while
accompanied by guide dogs.
10.html> In study, half of D.C. cab drivers pass by blind people with guide
2124.html> Shedding light on sidewalk safety
The Equal Rights Center, in a report released Wednesday morning, said it
conducted 30 tests earlier this year and that in half of the tests, drivers
passed a man or woman with a guide dog to pick up a person who did not have
a guide dog. In three of the cases where the taxi did stop for the blind
person, the driver attempted to impose a surcharge for transporting the dog,
the Equal Rights Center said.
Under local and federal law, businesses, including taxis, must make
reasonable accommodations to blind people and their service dogs and may not
impose surcharges for transporting a service dog. But blind people in the
3752.html%20> have complained for years that some taxi drivers flout the
Prompted by such concerns, the Equal Rights Center, which is part of the
Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, undertook
an investigation, assisted by the law firm Hogan Lovells.
In each of the 30 tests, which were conducted between March and May, the
Equal Rights Centers placed a blind person with a guide dog and a sighted
person on a high-traffic thoroughfare in the city. The blind person was
placed about 100 feet closer to oncoming traffic so that he or she would be
the first prospective passenger a taxi would encounter.
With a video camera rolling, the Equal Rights Center recorded 15 taxis
bypassing the blind passenger for the sighted person standing farther away.
Video clips of some of the encounters can
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qz6IZep9vo> be seen here. In its
2> report, the Equal Rights Center said its findings made clear that more
needs to be done to ensure that the rights of blind people are protected.
Taxi drivers in the District and elsewhere have long faced scrutiny for
passing up prospective black passengers, and several years ago, the D.C.
police conducted sting operations intended to deter discrimination by taxi
The Equal Rights Center said that the police, the D.C. Taxi Commission and
the D.C. Office of Human Rights need to adopt a more aggressive approach to
addressing taxi-driver bias against the blind, stepping up both education
"The law is in place," said Ashley N. White, outreach manager for the Equal
Rights Center, "but no one is really enforcing it."
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the announce