1. ITV Report

Blind man 'refused chance of a job' because of his guide dog

A blind man says he was refused the chance of a job because his prospective employer didn't want a guide dog in the office.

Ian Brooks, from Glastonbury, has been applying for full-time jobs in computer programming and web design for the past few months.

Velvet provides the vision Ian Brooks would love to have. Credit: Ian Brooks

He has years of experience and taken courses and freelance work to keep his skills up to date.

But even though he appeared to fit the job spec perfectly for his last application, he got a call saying his dog wasn't welcome.

It made me feel worthless - it really did.

I felt like I'd been punished for being disabled.

– Ian Brooks
Ian Brooks has been looking for a permanent job in programming or web design for years. Credit: ITV West Country

The employer is said to have told the recruitment agency the office was too small for the guide dog - and that the office's landlord would object.

Ian has 10% vision and is registered blind Credit: ITV West Country

Mr Brooks and the charity Guide Dogs for the Blind say this is discrimination.

Velvet is welcome at Mr Brooks' office in Somerset Care, where he works part time. Credit: ITV West Country

The charity works with many guide-dog owners looking for work, and says that the way the dogs are trained means that space shouldn't be an issue:

It's very clear that under Equality Act 2010, an employer shouldn't discriminate against a disabled person because of a mobility aid that they need.

A guide dog is in a very different capacity to a pet dog, so an employer should make reasonable adjustments.

– Neil Howe, Community Engagement Officer, Guide Dogs for the Blind

ITV News has contacted the employment agency for comment.