THE Uber was notified by the Procon-SP Foundation after a driver in São Paulo refused to take a blind lawyer with his guide dog; the company must respond within 72 hours. A federal law enacted in 2005 guarantees visually impaired people the right “to enter and stay with the animal in all means of transport” in Brazil.
In note, Procon-SP says that Uber should inform its policy regarding customers accompanied by a guide dog; the attitudes adopted so that people with disabilities are entitled to equal access; and complaints from consumers who have experienced discrimination when using their services.
The case was reported by leaf. Lawyer Thays Martinez, blind since the age of four, called an Uber on the night of July 17 and the driver just said: “I don’t take a dog”. She tried to explain that the Labradora Sophie is a guide dog, and that a federal law guarantees that all means of transport must take this type of animal, but without success.
Martinez did not get out of the car and called the Military Police. The soldier did not know the law on guide dogs, researched on the internet and said: “in the year the law was enacted there was no Uber, so you cannot claim that right”. The lawyer ended up leaving the vehicle and called another driver, who took her home with Sophie.
Procon-SP asks Uber to explain the measures taken in relation to the consumer and the driver; whether the driver informed the company about the episode; and what measures will be taken to guide partners on the platform and avoid discrimination.
In a statement, Uber states that its drivers must comply with the law and take the guide dogs: “if the refusal is proven, the partner driver involved could permanently lose access to the platform”.
Other Uber drivers refused to take a guide dog
Similar cases exist in other cities. This month, an Uber driver in Itajaí (SC) refused to take two passengers with his two guide dogs, telling the Military Police that the Labradors would not fit in his car and that the user was rude. The driver was suspended by Uber while the company analyzes what happened.
Last year, an Uber driver in Brasilia was ordered to pay R $ 2 thousand in indemnity for pain and suffering visually impaired, for having refused to take the guide dog.
Prosecutor Deborah Kelly Affonso tells the leaf: “The driver appears and when he sees that the passenger is blind and has the guide dog, he leaves; when they accept the race, they add an undue cleaning fee because they claim that dogs shed a lot of hair ”. The Municipal Council of People with Disabilities, in São Paulo, received 30 complaints of this type in the last year.
According to federal law 11,126 / 2005, “The visually impaired person accompanied by a guide dog is guaranteed the right to enter and remain with the animal in all means of transport and in establishments open to the public, for public use and private for collective use”.