Sir Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire has pledged his support to all people living with vision impairment through Guide Dogs’ Open Doors campaign.

At a parliamentary event hosted in December by the charity Guide Dogs, Sir Bill Wiggin MP met guide dog owners to hear about their experiences of being illegally turned away because they had their guide dog with them.

Recent research conducted by Guide Dogs found that 81% of guide dog owners have been refused access to a restaurant, shop, or taxi at some point because they were with their dog.

Guide Dogs’ launched their Open Doors campaign which aims to raise awareness of the rights assistance dog owners have, and the need for better enforcement and clearer laws.

Sir Bill Wiggin MP commented:

“It is deeply concerning to hear that people living with vision impairment are frequently disadvantaged by the presence of their guide dogs in public spaces.”

Chris Theobald, Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs said:

“The law is clear, and yet guide dog owners continue to experience access refusals, which are almost always illegal. That’s why we’re working to make sure everyone knows that guide dog owners have the right to access businesses and services with their guide dogs.”