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Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 2:28:06 PM
by sheila sri priya
Jaya One allows pets into the mall except in food and beverage areas. — filepic
GUIDE dogs are a common sight in Western countries. Their presence definitely helps improve accessibility and mobility for the disabled, especially the blind.
In Malaysia, the greater acceptance of guide dogs is constrained by cultural and religious taboos.
However, there are some shopping centres that allow pets and guide dogs, including Sunway Pyramid in Bandar Sunway, to assist the disabled inside the building.
Sunway Pyramid chief operating officer Kevin Tan said disabled customers could bring their guide dogs along on their shopping trip.
However, they will be accompanied by a mall employee and security personnel throughout.
“Usually, guide dogs are trained to move in a familiar space but as they may not know the layout of the mall, the concierge will be there to assist them,” he said.
Jaya One is another shopping centre that allows guide dogs and pets to help the disabled.
Jaya One developer, Tetap Tiara Sdn Bhd executive director Charles Wong said the shopping centre is disabled-friendly.
“We allow pets into the mall and all places except the food and beverage area.
“We also have a centre, Dialogue in the Dark, to discover and experience what it is like to be visually impaired. As we support the disabled community, we also allow them to bring their guide dogs.
“We want to set a good example to the younger generation. We want the public to embrace people with different types of challenges and be animal-friendly,” he said.
The shopping centre has not received any complaints from customers about the presence of guide dogs accompanying visually impaired persons.
“The founder of Dialogue in the Dark is here almost daily with his guide dog.
“They are free to go anywhere inside the mall,” said Wong.
At Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, a disabled shopper’s guide dog will be taken care of by the shopping centre’s management while the disabled will be assisted by an employee to go around the shops.
A spokesman said they would take the guide dog from the owner at the entrance of the shopping centre.
“The guide dog will be cared for at a separate location indoors.
“We will make sure the dog is in a comfortable place and is provided the necessary care,” said the spokesman.
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