Tag Archives: vision

Seeing Eye Guide Dog User Denied Access to Cab Services

Woman says cab driver refused her a ride because of seeing-eye dog
By Bob Heye KATU News and KATU.com Staff Published: Aug 2, 2013 at 12:40 AM PDT Last Updated: Aug 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM PDT

Deb Marinos says a Broadway Cab driver refused to give her a ride because she had a seeing-eye dog.
PORTLAND, Ore. – A woman who is blind says a Broadway Cab driver refused her service because she had a seeing-eye dog with her.

It all unfolded at Union Station, and an Amtrak worker confirmed what happened to Deb Marinos.

Marinos had gotten off the train and was trying to get to OHSU for a scheduled checkup but a Broadway Cab driver, and then a second cab driver both refused to give her a ride.

“I have a little tiny bit of vision,” she said. “I’m what’s called legally blind, but I have no peripheral vision. So the dog provides me the ability to cross streets and find curbs and doors.”

Marinos rides Amtrak all the time – commuting to work in Salem and Portland and also traveling the country to conferences and legislative assemblies in her job as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Oregon Council of the Blind.

She was stunned when she went to get into a Broadway Cab and the driver refused to let her in.

“And he says, ‘No, she has a dog. I’m not takin’ her. No dogs. Dogs aren’t allowed by the company.'”

A second Broadway driver said he’d take her, but he already had a fare. The next cab back was a Sassy Cab, a subsidiary of Broadway Cab.

“The cab behind him, Sassy Cab, says ‘No, I don’t do dogs either,'” Marinos said. “And then the fourth cab got out to see what all the fun was about and they said, ‘OK, we’ll take you.'”

An Amtrak helper known as Red Cap argued with the cab drivers’ refusals.

“Amtrak is so incredibly good at taking care of us, and the Red Cap today was just absolutely. He was just like all over them and could not believe it – that they’d never had that before where they’ve had someone turned down,” Marinos said.

And if you think allergies to dogs is behind all this, Marinos said that’s not a factor. She’s allergic to dogs. Her service dog breed is hypoallergenic.

KATU didn’t get a response from Broadway Cab Thursday night. City regulations say “No driver shall … refuse to transport to his requested destination any passenger of proper demeanor who is able to demonstrate the ability to pay the fare.”

Marinos met both of those requirements.

A city spokesperson said the city is starting a formal investigation into the incident and that Broadway Cab is cooperating with investigators.


From Hobby To Business

I enjoy creativity. Thus, at age 15, I started working with automobiles in customization and restyling. In 2001, I started my own business “Custom Effects.” In 2010, after 15 years in the business, a new chapter of my life began. Around this time I had lost my sight and was completely blind. I could still run my business, but I took my change in life as an opportunity to try new things that I may have not thought of participating in before. Further, I wanted to train others in assistive technology and empower others to independence and success.
As I embark on this journey, I want to continue to express my creativity and style. Thus in 2011, I noticed that all these mobility canes that the blind used were white and plain. I wanted a dressy cane, something that reflected my style. I searched online with no success. I decided that well then I will be the first. I dressed up my cane in black and fleur de liss accents and a spiraling silver metallic stripe. My cane was a hit. Well, why can’t I take my skills of my former trade and apply them to making canes for others? The rest is history. What was a hobby became a business that I immensely enjoy. I have a website up, http://www.kustomcane.com that receives a lot of traffic. I have now sold canes from the Golden Gate Bridge in California to Stone Hedge in England. I have come up with other accessories to accent the canes, such as charms,mobility bells, personalized braile charms, and Cane Shield, a protective coating. Kustom Cane has a Facebook page and Twitter page that I enjoy sharing products, ideas, and interaction with friends and customers.as well. I look forward continuing my education to empower others while also reflecting their personality on their canes!

Bullet proof…How possible?

Here is the manuscript to a speech I gave in class in April 2013 about my life experience and the growing rate of suicide.
When I hear the word “bullet-proof,” the words that come to mind are strength and survival. With unwavering determination, life’s obstacles will be unable to stand in your way of success. I know that is easier said than done.
Today, many are overwhelmed by life’s pressures. According to the New York Times in 2012, researchers found that the rate of suicide between 2008 and 2010 quadrupled compared to the previous ten years. A study by the United States Center of Disease Control says that an average of one person dies every 16.2 minutes. Hence, by the time our class is dismissed today, six people will have taken their life. I was almost one of those statistics three years ago. A number of conditions, including a six year divorce ordeal, the onslaught of manic depression, and the crash of the automotive industry that my business depended on were a lethal concoction that caused me to give up on life on the 28th of January, 2009. Waking up three days later in the ICU, I was unaware of what had happened, why I couldn’t see. My arms were restrained so that I could not remove the breathing tube or other vital equipment. This was the scariest time of my life. I could not see, move, or speak. At first, I felt like an Etch-A-Sketch, shaken after a life of achievement, and that I had to start all over again from scratch. Yet, after surviving a fifteen percent mortality rate and only losing my eyesight to a gun shot wound, I was most fortunate to still be alive! After of two days of coming to grips with what transpired, I had a renewed determination. I had two choices. I could have either been cared for, or I could take care of myself. I learned that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I had learned to live, and now lived to learn.
Life’s hardships cannot hinder the success of a determined individual. I realized that just because my situation had changed, my life though had just begun. Since then, I have received the education and training so that I can do everything I did before I lost my sight, just differently. I started a new business recently and returned to school so I may be equipped to empower others. I have met so many influential and inspirational that I would not have had the opportunity to meet. I want people to see that disability fosters the ability to reach out and empower others.
Blindness has actually been a blessing, being a fertilizer for my soul, developing my growth into a once again strong, independent person. Around my neck, a brass dog tag is inscribed in braille with the word “bullet-proof.” It reminds me daily that not even a bullet will hinder me from pursuing great things.Works Cited

Carey, Benedict. “Increase Seen in U.S. Suicide Rate Since Recession.” New York Times 4 Nov. 2012.
“National Suicide Statistics at a Glance.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.