Legally-blind ‘Voice’ star Rachael Leahcar was left stranded after being refused an Uber ride because of her guide dog, Ella.
Despite being illegal under South Australian law, the 25-year-old told The Advertiser that the Uber driver turned her down because he was concerned about the associated cleaning costs that her seven-year-old guide dog Ella would incur.
“I’d just opened the [car] door and started to take off her [Ella’s] harness when I heard the dreaded words, ‘No, no, no, I cannot take the dog,'” the singer told the publication.
“I told the driver, ‘This is a guide dog, I need her because I’m blind, this is against the law.’ But he kept saying ‘No, no’, adding, ‘It will be too expensive to clean my car’.
“I just burst into tears, I’d just had a gutful. We had to order another Uber and I was very late for my Fringe show.”
The act is illegal with the law stating that guide dogs are allowed on all forms of public transport, including ride shares, buses and trains. An Uber spokesperson confirmed that refusing a rider with a guide dog is strictly against their discrimination policy, and the driver is being investigated.
Rachael came third in the inaugural season of ‘The Voice Australia’ with coach Delta Goodrem.