After being notified by the Procon-SP Foundation, Uber responded that drivers should not deny races for visually impaired passengers and a guide dog: if they do, they receive a warning and can be disabled from the platform. Last month, a driver in São Paulo refused to travel to a blind lawyer because she was with a guide dog.
Uber says in response to Procon-SP that drivers should not deny transportation to users accompanied by a guide dog. If this happens, there is initially a warning and, if it is a repeat offender, the partner can be deactivated from the platform.
The company also says that there are specific links to report this type of problem: these are the forms “I had a problem boarding”(If the driver does not arrive) or“The driver refused to take me to the destination“; in them, it is possible to tell the reason why the trip was not made.
However, Uber did not mention whether the driver involved in the São Paulo case received a warning. He refused to start a trip with lawyer Thays Martinez, blind since the age of four, on the night of July 17, saying “I don’t take a dog”.
The company also did not prove whether drivers are trained in the rules of the Consumer Protection Code (CDC), the Statute of Persons with Disabilities and other rules.
Uber also recalled that drivers do not provide services for it, but for users of the application, so there is no employment. Procon-SP notes, however, that the CDC provides for joint and several liability between those who supply and those who offer a product. “Responding the company objectively for any damages that may be caused to its passengers”.
Procon-SP promises that “it will conduct a more in-depth investigation and adopt measures and sanctions based on the Consumer Protection Code”.
Guide dog undergoes training for up to two years
It is worth remembering that the guide dog is not an ordinary pet, and undergoes training that can last up to two years. First, he gets used to living with humans and moving around in different environments. Then, the dog spends a few months in a school to learn how to receive commands, avoid obstacles and find landmarks (such as a ladder or elevator).
Guide dogs are usually Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers, medium or large breeds strong enough to guide a person. There are about 150 of these animals in Brazil, according to the Dorina Nowill Foundation; this number is small due to the high cost. The process of choosing and training the animal can cost R $ 35 thousand according to with the IRIS Institute, a non-profit organization founded by lawyer Thays Martinez.
The IBGE Census shows that, in 2010, there were more than 6 million of blind or low vision people in the country, of which 345 thousand were in the city of São Paulo.
THE federal law 11,126 / 2005 says that “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”.