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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Guilty Cabbie Is First Convicted Of Refusing Guide Dog
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 7, 2006

LONDON, ENGLAND--A cab driver has been convicted and fined for refusing to take a blind passenger and her guide dog.

The Norwich Evening News reported that it is the first time a taxi driver has been convicted for denying service to a rider with a disability because of a service animal.

Bernie Reddington, 37, filed the complaint against taxi driver Basir Miah under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which makes discrimination against people with disabilities a criminal offense.

Reddington said that she arranged for the private cab to take her, 13-year-old son Christopher, who is also blind, and her guide dog Orla to the train station. She said she "felt sub-human and awful" when Miah saw Orla and said, "No dogs."

Last week, Miah admitted in court to refusing to transport the family. The court fined him £150 ($275 US).

Reddington told the Evening News she was surprised to learn that this was the first such conviction.

"I thought there must have been someone feistier or gutsier than I am who would have complained," she said.

"If this can stop something like that happening to anyone else then it will be worthwhile. I really hope this sends out a message to all taxi drivers to think again before they decide to break the law."

"I hope this benefits other blind and partially sighted people who have guide dogs."

Related:
"Cabbie would not take my guide dog" (Norwich Evening News)

http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/06/red/0607a.htm

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Customer Wins Challenge Over Bank's Discriminatory Check Policy
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 8, 2006

GUWAHATI, INDIA--Prasanna Kumar Pincha says he is ready to take on insurance companies, now that he can claim a legal victory against the Indian banking system over checking account policies that discriminate against blind customers.

Mr. Pincha says he can sign his own checks; he just needs someone to place his pen on the signature line.

But when he went to open a checking account with the Industrial Development Bank of India, banking officials at first refused him.

"I asked them whether my blindness makes me a lesser citizen of India," Pincha told the BBC.

Then the bank agreed to open an account, but only under condition that he would take responsibility if "unscrupulous people" signed his checks.

Pincha argued there is always some level of risk when people have checking accounts, regardless of whether they have disabilities.

"Lack of sight has nothing to do with possible misuse," he said.

The Guwahati High Court recently agreed, and ordered the bank to open an account for Pincha just as it would for any other customer.

IDBI officials had not decided by Tuesday whether they would appeal the ruling.

Pincha told the BBC he is now ready to confront insurance companies that demand higher premiums for blind policyholders.

"The battle has been won, but the war has just begun," he said.

Related:
"Blind man wins cheque book battle" (BBC News)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/5051930.stm

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