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Seeing eye dog banned from taxi

Nadia Mattiazzo did everything right.

She booked her taxi online and as soon as she received the text message saying it was approaching, she waited outside.

But then the taxi driver wouldn’t let her in the car.

Why?

Because she had a dog.

Her gorgeous, clearly marked, seeing eye dog, Olympia.

It’s illegal for a taxi driver to refuse entry to an assistance dog.

That incident in Brunswick at the weekend was the sixth time a driver has deserted Nadia, blind from birth, since March last year.

‘I don’t understand. I’m at my wits’ end,’ she told Neil Mitchell.

‘He locked the doors and wound up the window – I think he thought I was an axe-murderer or something.’

Click play to hear Nadia tell Neil her story

Nadia has complaint through the correct channels every time she’s been rejected, but nothing seems to be changing.

‘Clearly the education process isn’t work,’ she said.

Neil Mitchell: At the risk of stereotyping, I wonder if there’s a cultural issue here.

Simon Purssey, marketing and client services manager for 13CABS, conceded there was substance to Neil’s suggestion.

He said Muslim drivers were often uncomfortable around dogs, despite the legal requirements involved with their job.

‘Some of them have got this idea that they’re dangerous and dirty and that they’re going to hurt them and their car,’ Mr Purssey explained.

Click PLAY below to hear Simon Purssey explain more on 3AW Mornings.

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