An old man with disability and his assistance dog rejected by Robinsons Place Dumaguete

SHARE:

Mark Cohen, a person with disability, and his assistance dog (guide) named Happy was refused by the guards of Robinsons Place Dumaguete to enter the mall premises because of "no pets allowed policy".

A report from World Fact News about an old man with disability and his assistance dog was not allowed to enter the premises of of Robinsons Place Dumaguete due to "no pet allowed policy".

However, Mr. Cohen's dog is not an ordinary dog. "Happy" is well trained and is a certified assistance dog.

Mark Cohen and Happy (Photo Courtesy of International Institute for Assistance Dog Training)


Mark Cohen is a medically-certified person with disability. He is the Director of The International Institute for Assistance Dog Training.

Cohen suffers from a neurological disorder which requires him an assistance dog always on his side to alleviate the effects of his disability. This comes with variant symptoms similar to epilepsy, Parkinsosnism, and sensitivity to changes in the environment such as temperature and intensity of light.

This incident happened last Sunday, August 17,2014. The guard on duty refused him and his dog to enter the mall premises. The guard manning the mall entrance even closed the door when he tried to force his way to get in.



Mark and Happy laid in front of the entrance door of the mall as a sign of protest, waiting for someone from the management to address his concern.

Police authorities were called in that made the situation worse. They accused Cohen of public disturbance. He was handcuffed and was taken by the authorities for further investigation.

Mark Cohen arrested by the policemen. Photo Courtesy of Michael Magtajas


A week after, Mark Cohen sent a letter to the management of the Robinsons Place Dumaguete. This letter was also shared in public thru Hukad (Hulagway ug Kasikas sa Dumaguete).
Letter from Mark Cohen.
cc:TeamHUKAD

Hello all, For your information, this is the chronological dialogue that I’ve been having with the management of Robinson’s Mall. I appreciate their kind consideration.

My message to Robinsons:

My name is Mark Cohen. Director of The International Institute for Assistance Dog Training I am a medically-certified Person with a Disability and have a neurological disorder which necessitates my having an Assistance Dog to mitigate that disability. I am not blind, I can drive a car, but do have variant symptoms similar to epilepsy, Parkinsonism, and sensitivity to changes in the environment such as temperature and intensity of light. At one moment I can have a blood pressure measurement of 180/120 and 10 minutes later 70/40, resulting in syncope. I have learnt to live with my disability, do take medication in a compliant manner, and would be unable to function if I did not have my certified Assistance Dog “Happy” as my companion.

On August 17th I was denied access to the Robinsons Mall in Dumaguete when I was with my certified Assistance Dog “Happy”. The security guards employed by Robinsons Mall called the Police claiming I was “disturbing the peace”. The Police took me to the Police station in handcuffs, and later released me without charging me with any offense. The Republic Acts 7227 and 9442, and Batas Pambansa Blg. 344, which are laws of the Government of the Philippines, do in fact allow me access with my Assistance Dog to your mall and to any public place or mode of transport.

The International Institute for Assistance Dog Training is an informal volunteer non-profit organization that strives to teach professionals, students and families how to train dogs to be Assistance Dogs for People with a Disability. We freely distribute information explaining the tasks and benefits of Assistance Dogs, and attempt as best we can to help to educate the public regarding national and international access laws for medically-certified Persons with a Disability that have certified Assistance Dogs or Guide Dogs that have been specifically trained to mitigate their disability.

We are currently producing a documentary on Rights of Access to Public Places and Transportation by People with a Disability (PWD) who have the need of an Assistance Dog to mitigate their disability. Since 2004 we have covered the countries of Canada, the U.S., Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Israel, Ecuador, Colombia and Chile, and are currently producing in the Philippines. I'm preparing some documentation for you.

On Monday August 25th you can visit my website, Facebook pages, and YouTube channel, all containing photos, videos, interviews, documentation with excerpts from the laws of the Philippines and other countries, as well as international laws that all protect the rights of access for Persons with a Disability in the presence of their certified Assistance Dogs.

I won't visit the mall again until I've spoken with you at your convenience, and when you've had time to review all the documentation and videos. I want to work with you to make my next visit to your mall a very positive event for Robinsons Mall, Persons with a Disability, and the citizens of the Philippines in general.

I arrived in the Philippines Thursday August 14th. I plan to retire here, and am very happy to be here. I have lived in many countries in Asia, South and Central America, the Middle east and North America, and the Philippines is my favorite. Thanks in advance for your kind consideration.

Any questions or concerns please let me know. Please say hello the security guard Wiley for me. He's a really nice guy.

Mark Cohen Globe: +63 9179 611 134 Smart: +63 9184 524 213 Email: mcohen.iiadt@gmail.com

However, the Robinsons' management strongly insisted that they do not discriminate against PWDs (Persons with Disabilities).

Robinsons Place Dumaguete posted their statement on Facebook.
"When he claimed to have medical condition that required an ‘assistance’ dog, the mall management offered all kinds of help including 1) arranging for the free use of WiFi facilities of a coffee shop; 2) providing a nurse that would assist him while he is inside the mall. But he refused all of these"



Rights of PWDs


On Rappler, it was discussed that assistance or guide dogs for PWDs are not acknowledged in the Philippines and no legal provisions for it.
Kung batas ang paguusapan, walang maling ginawa ang mall. Pero mali pa rin 'yung ginawa nung mall kasi walang consideration doon sa PWD. May papel naman na pinakita 'yung tao, explained by Ronel Del Rio ("promoter" of the "3rd Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2013-2023" chosen by the United Nations-Economic and Social Commission in the Asia Pacific.)

Though the country observes Republic Act No. 7277, the Magna Carta for Persons With a Disability, to protect the rights of access to all public places and any form of public transportation. But this law does not acknowledge the use of certified assistance dogs even though they are trained to help PWDs.

According to Del Rio, the incident happened to Cohen and Happy pointed out that the law protecting the rights of PWDs need to be updated.

"We are asking for the amendment of the law (because) it is crafted only from the medical point of view," Del Rio emphasized.

A video taken by concerned citizen. This was uploaded with a title "When Guards Don't Know What a Guide Dog Is."

Loading...

COMMENTS

Name

Entertainment,445,Everywhere,535,Finance,166,Health,357,Local,913,Politics,271,Sport,39,Technology,123,Videos,596,
ltr
item
XOLXOL: An old man with disability and his assistance dog rejected by Robinsons Place Dumaguete
An old man with disability and his assistance dog rejected by Robinsons Place Dumaguete
Mark Cohen, a person with disability, and his assistance dog (guide) named Happy was refused by the guards of Robinsons Place Dumaguete to enter the mall premises because of "no pets allowed policy".
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PMZZx6yLX-g/VALH_1MYSOI/AAAAAAAAAns/P4tZ5Ng7Lhg/s1600/mark-cohen-assistance-dog.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PMZZx6yLX-g/VALH_1MYSOI/AAAAAAAAAns/P4tZ5Ng7Lhg/s72-c/mark-cohen-assistance-dog.jpg
XOLXOL
http://www.xolxol.ph/2014/08/old-man-with-disability-and-assistance-dog-rejected-by-robinsons-place-dumaguete.html
http://www.xolxol.ph/
http://www.xolxol.ph/
http://www.xolxol.ph/2014/08/old-man-with-disability-and-assistance-dog-rejected-by-robinsons-place-dumaguete.html
true
735890063477206305
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy