Jackie Dorantes Testimony for May 25, 2016 Joint Committee Hearing

My name is Jacqueline Dorantes. I am staff member at Access Living, the same organization that employs Adam Ballard.

I am blind. The blind also need accessible transportation options.

I use a guide dog. Archie, my guide dog, is here with me today. Archie helps me go in and out of buildings, cross the street, and use public transportation. I don’t feel comfortable moving around the City without Archie.

In the past, I have tried to use Uber as one of my transportation options. I was attracted to its low cost compared to taxi service, and its app was easier than flagging down a taxi.

However, I repeatedly had Uber drivers refuse to let Archie enter their cars. This happened so frequently, I finally gave up using the service.

I support the requirement that companies like Uber and Lyft operate a disability specific complaint and response system. I would have used such a system when I ran into trouble with Uber drivers. It would also make me feel more comfortable using this kind of transportation if I knew there was an actual place I could contact if I had problems.

A disability complaint process allows a business to respond to the slight accommodations, like travel with a guide dog, that people with different types of disabilities need to use their service.

I ask you to vote for Alderman Beale’s Ordinance.