• Kyodo

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Many visually impaired people with guide dogs are still experiencing discrimination one year after a law to combat it came into effect, according to a survey conducted by a guide dog training organization.

In the national survey of guide dog owners conducted between February and March that received 121 responses, 62 percent said they were still facing discrimination. The results were released on Monday.

Takao Shioya, head of Eye Mate Inc., which conducted the survey, noted the need to enhance public understanding of the importance of guide dogs.

“I hope people with and without disabilities will be treated equally,” Shioya said.

In the survey, 76 percent of respondents said they were turned away by restaurants because of their guide dogs, followed by retails stores (13 percent), taxis (12 percent) and accommodation facilities (12 percent). Respondents were allowed to submit multiple answers.

When faced with such discrimination, 70 percent said they tried to explain their situation, while 29 percent said they demonstrated that their guide dogs were gentle and would not cause a disturbance. Twenty-five percent said they called company head offices to report the incidents.

After such efforts, 44 percent said they were allowed to use the services but 28 percent said the situation did not improve.

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