Guide Dogs and Food Businesses
Kogarah City Council, in conjunction with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has launched a public education campaign called ‘Guide Dogs Welcome Here' to help educate restaurateurs and café owners about the needs and rights of people with impaired vision.
In NSW a Guide Dog in a harness is legally allowed to enter all public places, including food service businesses such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs. However recent research conducted on behalf of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT into the general public's understanding of the issue revealed that one in four people surveyed said they didn't know if Guide Dogs were allowed in restaurants.
A person using a harnessed Guide Dog is allowed entry into all public places of hospitality areas under the:
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Section 9)
- NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 (Sections 14 & 59)
- Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (Chapter 3, section 24 (1) b)
The campaign calls on local restaurateurs and café owners to show their support and participate in the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Kogarah City Council’s ‘Guide Dogs Welcome Here’ campaign by displaying a sticker in their window to help reverse discrimination against Guide Dogs and their users.
How your business can help
- Establish a clear path along the building line to help the person to find the entry to the shop easily.
- Ensure that the pedestrian area of the footpath located adjacent to the building line is kept clear of dining, goods and signage.
- If a Guide Dog is in a harness, it should not be fed, patted or distracted.
- Ensure that outdoor dining is located behind barriers to prevent patrons, tables and chairs spilling out of the defined dining area.
- Offer to read the menu, including all prices. When the food is served, tell the person about objects on the table and the position of the food on their plate.
- Follow the 'Practical tips for hospitality staff' guide.
How your business can participate in the 'Guide Dogs Welcome Here' campaign
- Register your participation in the campaign with Council’s Environmental Health Officers at your next food premises inspection.
- Educate staff members about customer service for people who are vision impaired. See above and refer to the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT website for educational resources and further information.
- Display the ‘Guide Dogs Welcome Here’ sticker in your window to show your ongoing support to help reverse discrimination against Guide Dogs and their users.
For further information please contact Council's Environmental Health Officers on 9300 9400.
Image courtesy of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT