It was the early morning hours and Shelley Adams had just gotten off her flight.
All she wanted to do was get home, so she says she did what any logical person would do: headed out of the airport to hop in the first available taxi.
However, things didn’t go according to plan.
“I was about to put my stuff in his car and he said, ‘I can’t take her. I have an allergy to dogs,'” she said.
According to the airport authority, all taxi drivers who provide services at the airport have a special license and under those conditions, are required to accept people who have guide dogs unless they have a medical note saying they can’t.
“We do have an expectation and in our contract with our license holders, they are expected to provide service to persons with special needs who need to be accompanied by a service animal,” said Nicole Scaplen, a spokesperson with the Halifax International Airport Authority.
“If they’re not able to do so for medical reasons, then they are required to have the proper documentation on file with the airport authority.”
According to Adams, the driver didn’t have a note.
Feeling frustrated by his refusal, she says she used the opportunity to try and educate the driver.
“I just said to him, ‘You know, if you don’t have a note on file it is against the law for you to refuse me.’ And he was nice. We weren’t arguing or anything like that,” she said.
Adams is blind and has a guide dog named Pogo, who she says provides her with the freedom to live a normal life.
She’s also an advocate for those living with vision impairments and is very familiar with her rights as a blind person.
“I have just as many rights as anyone else and there is a Blind Person’s Rights Act and my dog is allowed anywhere that I am allowed,” she said.
Adams says she filed a complaint with the taxi company and was informed the driver would be adding a medical note to his file.
The airport authority says they’re investigating the matter.