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News: Blind access denied as UK Paralympic Skiing Champ is banned twice from entering market. Image: John Dickinson Lilley stands with his guide dog Brett in front of the Sainsbury's Local market in London, England where he has twice been denied access.

REALLY? THIS IS STILL HAPPENING IN 2019?

UK Paralympic sponsor bans Paralympic Champion from one of its markets – not once, but three times!

After being left feeling “shaken and humiliated”, British Paralympic Ski Champ John Dickinson-Lilley is planning legal action against Sainsbury’s, the third largest supermarket chain in the UK, and sponsor of the British Paralympian team, because he was denied access with his service dog Brett to one of its markets in London. Not once, but twice, and it follows a third incident he had encountered at a different branch of the store.

On these two occasions, he was refused entry by a security guard who refused to get the manager. The denied access is a breach of the UK’s Equalities Act.

This has happened at other brand grocery stores to other blind people in the UK who use a guide dog, and usually because of an uninformed security guard who is an immigrant. There’s no word on the nationality or qualification of the security guards in these latest two instances, but after complaining on Twitter, Sainsbury’s responded by saying: ““Hi John, sorry for the delay getting back to you. I’ve spoken to the store manager. It’s clear the security guard misread the situation and this has been addressed to prevent it from happening again.”

Visioneers | World Access For The Blind has always advocated for equal access for people with disabilities regardless of whether they use a guide or assistance dog, and this story is such a disappointment, especially for a company that is sponsoring the British Paralympics team.

You can read more about the story at the Shropshire Star where Dickinson-Lilley says “The idea that you can walk into a shop and be humiliated like that in 2019 is outrageous.” We agree.

 

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