Apology after disabled woman told she could not get a taxi

Daphne Jones of St Leonards SUS-160203-154910001
Daphne Jones of St Leonards SUS-160203-154910001

An elderly woman says her housing association refused to pay for a taxi claiming she was not disabled – despite having carried out work on her home to make it disability friendly.

Daphne Jones has arthritis in her hip and neck, breathing problems and experiences black outs.

AmicusHorizon has installed grab rails in her Bristol Road home, carried out works to widen her path and created an area to allow Daphne to park her mobility scooter.

But despite carrying out these improvements to her home, AmicusHorizon said it would not pay for her taxi journeys to its regular residents’ forums, because Daphne is no longer registered as disabled as on their computer.

The 81-year-old said: “I said ‘I have been disabled for a long time, so I must be on there’.

“I have had grab rails fitted and they found all that on the computer but they said I still could not have a taxi.”

She added: “AmicusHorizon would not do the work unless I had proof I was disabled.”

Daphne moved into the AmicusHorizon property in 2001 and has been registered disabled since 2004.

The housing association had previously funded Daphne’s taxis to its forums, which have taken place at The Sussex Exchange, Bannatynes and at venues in Bexhill, for the past three years.

Daphne feared without help from AmicusHorizon she would no longer be able to attend the forums.

She said: “I’m a social person and I look forward to going to meetings with people.”

When contacted for a comment, an AmicusHorizon spokesman told the Observer the housing association has apologised to Daphne and will arrange a taxi for her.

He said: “Our residents are the heart of our organisation and we actively encourage them to get involved in shaping our services.

“We made an error originally which led to Mrs Jones not being offered a taxi.

“We have since spoken and apologised to Mrs Jones and will ensure a taxi is arranged for her.

“We’re happy Mrs Jones is keen to be an involved resident and look forward to seeing her at future meetings.”

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