Full Text --- Open Letter to Robinson's Place for Refusing to let in a Disabled Person with Assistance Dog ~ Pinoy Media

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Full Text --- Open Letter to Robinson's Place for Refusing to let in a Disabled Person with Assistance Dog

“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”


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