Motels charging vision-impaired guests extra cleaning costs for staying with a guide dog is the kind of discrimination a new campaign is aiming to end.
Taking the Lead was launched on Wednesday for International Guide Dog Day, along with an online education kit for accomodation venues.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT regional manager Ross Still said Albury hoteliers were largely welcoming, but there was always room for improvement.
“How to get to the lift, not knowing how to get around the room and not being able to read menus – these are the some of the main concerns of people,” he said.
“The package is designed to educate people and instructors are available locally to come to businesses.”
A survey of 130 guide dog handlers found 33 per cent have had their access rights to accommodation challenged in the past five years.
Sixty-six per cent had also had problems at cafes, 52 per cent in taxis and 32 per cent in shopping centres.
Guide dogs are permitted everywhere except in operating theatres and zoos – in NSW, refusing a handler entry can attract an $800 fine.
Albury man Daniel Searle said he would ring hotels ahead of time about his visit and guide dog Frodo.
“I’ve done a significant amount of travel through my studies and I’ve been very lucky,” he said.
“Many friends have had problems, not just being denied access but being told they’ll have to pay a bond for cleaning or something like that – it can be very stressful.
“The majority of the public is educated.
“The more we can get a positive message out Frodo is there to assist my mobility, the better it will be for everyone.”