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Guide Dog Owner, Desperate To Work, Ordered To Leave Milton Keynes JobCentre

April 22, 2016

A blind woman desperate to work was forced to leave the Jobcentre because her guide dog was not allowed in the building.

Elaine Maries walked into the CMK Jobcentre with retriever-cross Inca sporting her official yellow Guide Dogs harness.

They had only walked a few metres into the doorway when a member of staff asked them to leave, said Elaine, who is 48.

“He said no dogs were allowed in the building. I pointed out that Inca was a fully-trained assistance dog and even showed him documentation to prove I am registered blind.

“But it made no difference at all. He actually said: ‘That doesn’t mean anything to me’ and still insisted I left.”

Elaine, who is worked all her life and has a string of qualifications, was so shocked that she retreated quietly with Inca.

“Afterwards I was fuming. What this man did was against the law and I knew I had to complain,” she said.

A qualified counsellor who is training to be a psychotherapist through the city’s Convergence College, Elaine was fully sighted until she contracted the rare Meibonian gland disease three years ago.

She now has no vision in her right eye and severely limited sight in her left.

Until she was paired with Inca almost four months ago she was reliant upon a white stick – but says it made her a target for muggers.

“I was mugged three times in three years. Criminals see a white stick and think you’re easy prey. The last time, last August, I was stabbed in the hand by robbers who took my purse.

“With Inca I feel safe and she’s given me the confidence to look for a job. I am really keen to work.”

Senior staff at the Jobcentre have since apologised to Elaine about Friday’s incident and they have promised to help her find employment.

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said; “All people with assistance dogs are welcome in our Jobcentres.”

But the Guide Dogs charity is still outraged at the treatment. A spokesman said;

Meanwhile plucky Elaine, who lives on Brooklands estate, has appealed for help in solving another problem – finding a taxi driver willing to take Inca in their cab.

“I’ve lost count of the times I’ve booked a cab, then the driver has turned up, taken one look at Inca, and driven off saying dogs are not allowed in his vehicle,” she said.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2016 6:21 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. April 22, 2016 10:51 am

    jobcentre says “guide dogs are welcome”. Well obviously this is a lie. No mention is made of the person who broke the law by refusing her admittance. I want to see some transparency here. Name the person, discipline the person and say publicly what they have done.

  3. Florence permalink
    April 22, 2016 12:01 pm

    Well, the person who broke the law is indeed the representative of the company – G4$ has most of the security contracts in JC+, and we all know their reputation for their employees having no respect for the law.

    The difficulty getting taxis is also very true. These are the barriers disabled people face that the rest simply don’t ever think about. What are the major charities doing about this? We need those with the money to stop paying 6 figure CEO salaries, and start producing local trade directories for those with disabilities – whatever they are. eg Home visiting optometrists for the agoraphobic, cabs for guide dogs, the sort of thing that is actually useful.

  4. April 22, 2016 1:47 pm

    I always record any conversation with anyone be it the local council or job centre, including DWP, and I would advise anyone to do the same. HDD are very cheap and a 1TB drive would hold a lifetime of recordings with them

  5. April 23, 2016 3:15 pm

    Reblogged this on campertess.

  6. April 23, 2016 6:52 pm

    A flagrant display of the disability laws!

  7. April 24, 2016 7:38 pm

    i have a dog myself and yes, finding taxi drivers willing to take him anywhere haws resulted in him going nowhere except twice weekly walks with dog walkers. i bought him a stat of the art carrier with carrier handle, wheels n pull handle. but even that at times doesnt help. ive found though that if you ring around, particularly where there are white drivers (not being racist but very few Asians will take dogs in their cars,)but book in advance if you can or when you do ring for a taxi make sure you ask for a driver who will take guide or assistance dogs.if they have anyone in their firm they usually do their best to provide one. also book your return journey at same time if you can. it helps if you have a carrier for them but this can be a nuisance after you get to your destination. alternatively see if there is a pet taxi service that serves your area.they will take you and your dog but no other person with you.


  1. Guide Dog Owner, Desperate To Work, Ordered To Leave Milton Keynes JobCentre | Same Difference | Jay's Journal

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