WATCH: Blind woman turned away from city restaurant

Coventry University first year student Holly Scott-Gardner was yesterday refused service at a local restaurant because of her guide dog.

Holly Scott-Gardner and her guide dog Isla. Image courtesy of Facebook

Holly Scott-Gardner and her guide dog Isla. Image courtesy of Facebook

PGR staff asked 22-year-old Holly, who’s been blind since birth, to leave the restaurant after she went there for her birthday meal accompanied by her guide dog Isla. She was told to either eat outside or leave the dog outside – by more than one member of staff.

The rights of blind and partially-sighted people are protected by the Equalities Act 2010 – which means that someone cannot be denied service because of their blindness. It also includes the right to be accompanied by a guide or other assistance dog, and service providers have to make “reasonable adjustments” to accommodate guide dog owners.

Holly filmed the whole situation on her phone and uploaded it to Facebook as well as YouTube. So far, the video has been shared over 2,000 times on Facebook and was also shared on the Spotted: Coventry City page. The page was trying to contact both sides, they managed to talk to Holly however they stated “PGR did not want to comment but they do have an official statement out”

Emily Zorish, restaurant manager at PGR, told Coventry Telegraph: “We do accept guide dogs. One member of staff was not informed. We explained that we do accept guide dogs.”

PGR later released a statement on their Facebook page saying: “PGR would like to publicly apologise for any customers and members of the public that have been offended by our misunderstanding of this situation… We are now working with The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association we want to raise as much awareness of access rights for guide dogs and other assistance dogs to all other businesses that are unaware of guide dogs legal rights we hope we can promote this awareness with positive outcomes.” This was not before a barrage of posts left on their page from across the UK and even America.

Natalia Kaluza and Jessica Allen


Watch Holly’s video below:

Went to PGR Coventry for my birthday lunch and was told I had to leave because I have a dog.

Posted by Holly Scott-Gardner on Monday, 22 February 2016

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