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Guide dog laws are being flouted and it’s ruining my life

The discrimination Maya Makri experienced at Tesco is sadly not unusual for blind people – even though there are laws in place

Added Date: Today

Last week, Maya Makri, a 39-year-old student who is registered blind, was reduced to tears by staff at a London branch of Tesco when a cashier told her that her guide dog was not allowed because of a “no pets” policy. When the retailer was criticised, it added insult to injury, offering to make amends with a £20 voucher. I know “every little helps” but this is just ridiculous. A Tesco spokesperson issued a statement saying that they “do allow guide dogs in store and have reminded colleagues of that”.

As a blind owner of a guide dog, I know from bitter experience just how soul destroying it is to be told you’re not allowed somewhere because of your disability. It’s happened to me dozens of times and each time, a little bit of me dies inside.

On one occasion, I was shopping in an Express branch of Sainsbury’s in central London when staff told me my guide dog was dirty, smelly and not welcome. Initially I refused to leave but staff threatened to call the police. I...
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Guide dog laws are being flouted and it’s ruining my life
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