The Uber driver under fire for refusing service to a much loved South Aussie personality.
Rachael Leahcar is legally blind, yet overcame the odds to forge a successful singing career.
Yesterday she was told her guide dog, Ella, couldn't travel with her in an Uber.
An understandably distraught Rachael spoke exclusively to Patrick Major.
STATEMENT FROM UBER AUSTRALIA:
Uber has a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination on our platform.
Under Uber's Assistance Animal Policy, driver-partners are advised of their legal obligation to transport passengers with assistance animals. As explained in Uber's Community Guidelines, driver-partners who engage in discriminatory conduct can lose access to the Driver App.
Our procedures for handling reports of assistance animal refusals were designed in consultation with members of the blind and low vision community. From the time of the incident report, the driver-partner's access to the Uber Driver App is temporarily removed during an internal review. If this is the first report against the driver, he or she must undergo additional education and score over 90% on a test to demonstrate they understand their legal obligations to riders with assistance animals. Any further incidents of this nature may result in permanent loss of access to the Uber Driver App.
Our aim is always to educate driver-partners on their legal obligations to riders with assistance animals. We undertook a comprehensive review of our Australian processes last year and provide this information through multiple forums. This includes at various points throughout the driver signup process, through reminders to driver-partners at regular intervals via email and notifications in the Driver App, displayed on screens at our driver support centres, and on information booklets specifically addressing driver-partners' legal obligations under discrimination laws.
Uber's technology increases the mobility, efficiency, and independence of riders and drivers with disabilities. You can read more about how we support people with accessibility needs here.
We welcome and encourage assistance animals.