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Blind woman sues Uber, says she and her guide dog were refused service, Washington Post

06.03.16

An Arlington woman is suing ride-hailing giant Uber after she says at least two drivers refused to transport her and her service dog.

In the 29-page suit, Tiffany Jolliff, who is blind, said the company violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Virginians With Disabilities Act in refusing to transport her on at least three occasions.

In one instance last June, an UberX driver refused to pick up Jolliff once the driver realized that she was traveling with her service dog, a yellow Lab named Railey. Jolliff said she was holding the door handle when the driver accelerated. According to the suit, Jolliff, 29, was dragged several feet before she was able to let go.

Friends with whom she had been dining took her to the hospital, where she was told that she had sprained a shoulder. She missed almost a week of work and since then has avoided using Uber, the suit says.

 The alleged driver, Albertine Djeumi Cole, is named in the suit. Attempts to reach Cole were unsuccessful.

The suit cited at least two other instances in which UberX drivers allegedly refused to allow Jolliff into their cars once they realized she was traveling with a dog.

“We hope that this case will illustrate the huge obstacles that blind people face in the D.C. metro area just to get from place to place,” said Peter Romer-Friedman, deputy director of litigation for the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and
Gilbert LLP, which are representing Jolliff. “There is a very bad trend of the rest of society getting access to wonderful technologies to make their lives better, while people who are blind are getting left behind.”

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