Welcome back to fashioneyesta.com!
Today I wanted to join you all to talk about a very exciting piece of news that I have for you all that I haven’t been able to speak about up until this week.
Now, for those of you who follow me on my social media including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook you may already know about this, but for those of you who aren’t this week i’ve bene reporting for Channel 4 News! How awesome is that?
I’ve been teasing on Twitter for a little while about something big happening and this has been it, remember a few weeks ago when I posted about being at an exciting meeting in London with guide dogs and a media company? Well that was the day I met with Guide Dogs and ITN to discuss the potential of me fronting as a reporter a piece on Guide Dog Access Denials.
Disclaimer: The Following images are owned by Channel 4 News.
In the UK there are over 5,000 guide dogs and many more assistance dogs and many of us have been turned away from a public place or service provider be it a shop, minicab, restaurant or franchise based on the grounds we work with an assistance dog.
This week on the 25th of May 2016, the charity Guide Dogs were holding a lobby at Parliament with over 100 guide dogs and their owners (including Unity and myself). To lobby our local MP’s to enforce the laws that are designed to protect us against access denials.
Channel 4 were interested in running a piece for their No Go Britain series, a series which aims to expose the inaccessibility of Britain to people with disabilities. So, after they met with me, the piece got the green light and off I went to film with ITN.
Over the last week I’ve been up and down the country with my guide dog Unity from Newcastle to Colchester and in central London at the Houses of Parliament for the lobby.
The piece was a six minute long piece involving me interviewing 3 other assistance dog owners and their stories surrounding access denials. It was aired on Channel 4 News on Tuesday 24th May at 7pm and made headline news on the website.
The video is now available to view on YouTube via the link below.
But then! Surprise, surprise Channel 4 asked me to front a second piece live from the Lobby on the day. So, there I was reporting on Westminster Bridge, outside the Houses of Parliament. I also interviewed a number of other guide dog owners about their experiences of being denied access with their dogs. It was a very positive day and it was great that Channel 4 exposed the stories of access denials and the way they can have an impact on our everyday lives.
I even got the hold the boom box microphone up like a pro!
Click here to view the second piece.
But, on a serious note this is a recurring problem for many guide dog owners, myself included and its vital that these incidences stop and that the laws that are designed to protect us are enforced and made more readily known among service providers.
When an access denial occurs it can have a profound impact on your autonomy, confidence and your ability to live your life.
I also wrote an article for the Huffington Post UK on the realities of access denials in the lead up to the lobby.
Click here to view it.
Also if any of you are interested in finding out more about Guide Dogs Access All Areas Campaign please click here to view their website for more information.
So, that concludes my blog post for today, thank you so much to everyone for your ongoing support and lovely comments and messages of congratulations on my appearance on Channel 4 News. It was a truly amazing experience and I am so grateful to Guide Dogs for connecting me with ITN and for all the ITN crew I worked with over the last week. It was a lot of hard work, but the results paid off and I hope it helps to raise awareness of this widespread issue and pave the way for better future for assistance dog owners.