A near-blind woman has spoken out and revealed how she was pushed and harassed by complete strangers while shopping together with her guide dog.
46-year-old Linda Johnson from Margate, England, claims she is often confronted and verbally abused by angry people for failing to social distance due to her disability.
As Ms. Johnson added, she was recently involved in a physical confrontation as another shopper pushed her away because she got too close to them.
“Don’t they realize I can’t see how close I am to people? It’s really upsetting when people react this way,” the 46-year-old expressed.
In addition to being harassed by complete strangers, Linda was allegedly also subjected to false allegations on numerous occasions.
As she revealed, some people have accused her of faking her condition and walking around with a guide dog under pretense.
“People think you have to be completely and utterly blind to have a guide dog. I have severely limited vision and I wear glasses, but people have no idea about visual impairment and they think this means I can see,” Ms. Johnson added.
“They think you’re either blind or you’re not. But there’s a spectrum of sight.”
As the 46-year-old admitted, she “couldn’t believe that some people were being so awful” when she first heard stories of blind people being harassed and verbally attacked by strangers.
Since the start of the lockdown, however, horrible things began happening to her as well.
“I couldn’t believe that some people were being so awful, but then after the first lockdown it started happening. There is so much aggression out there aimed at guide dog owners, it’s beyond me,” Linda said.
“We have a guide dog for independence and freedom yet this is being taken away from us. We can’t shop confidently, we can’t go into shops because of abuse from the public.
“It’s creating a lot of fear and anxiety, and it will probably stop me going out to the shops. I have to really psych myself up to go out these days to buy essentials. Shopping is now frightening and it shouldn’t be.”
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