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Serving people with disabilities

As someone who drives with Uber, you can help make transportation more accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. Find information below about picking up and assisting riders with disabilities.

Breaking down the WALL

When picking up a rider with a disability, you can think about watching, asking, listening, and learning (WALL).

Tips from Open Doors Organization

  • Watch the person to understand their abilities
  • Ask how you can help
  • Listen to their requests and preferences carefully
  • Learn from every person you assist

How you can communicate with riders

  • Being patient and asking yes-or-no questions when you can
  • Asking the rider to repeat instructions if you haven't understood them the first time
  • Avoiding interrupting
  • Avoiding speaking to the person's companion or attendant instead of the rider, unless directed

Top ways you can help

Asking if you're unsure

If you don't know how to assist a rider, you can ask about what you can do to help.

Speaking respectfully

Nobody wants to be described by their disability. So instead of saying, "the blind man," you can say, "Felix, who is blind."

Welcoming service animals

Service animals are generally allowed everywhere that their owner goes. They can look just like any other animal or pet. See below for more details.

Rights of riders with service animals

Riders cannot be denied service because they travel with a service animal. It’s the law in Canada.

As part of our policy, a rider will be refunded any trip cancellation fee or other charges imposed if a driver denied a rider service because of a service animal.

Similarly, riders cannot be charged cleaning fees if their service animal sheds. Riders will be refunded any cleaning fees charged for shedding by their service animals.

What is a service animal?

A service animal is an animal that helps a person with their disability, both visible and non-visible.

There are 2 ways for an animal to qualify as a service animal.

First, an animal is a service animal if it can be easily identified as one. Service animals often wear a harness or a vest, or are obviously helping the person with their disability.

Second, the individual may have a document confirming the animal is a service animal, like a health professional’s letter that the animal is needed due to a disability, a government-issued service animal card, or, in Quebec, a certificate from a service animal training school.

Understanding the Service Animal Policy

Canadian laws prohibit drivers who are using the Driver app from discriminating against riders with service animals, including denying them service. As explained in Uber’s Community Guidelines, drivers who engage in discriminatory conduct in violation of their legal obligations will lose their ability to use the Driver app.

Guiding a rider who has vision loss

You can usually help people with low vision by offering to guide them to your car. Some people may not need or want that assistance.

Try offering your arm to guide the person to the car. Be descriptive about what you're doing and what's around you, including obstacles like curbs or stairs. Service animals must be transported in accordance with the law and Uber's Service Animal Policy.

Communicating with riders who have hearing loss

If necessary, you can get the rider's attention by positioning yourself in front of them and/or waving your hand. Try using visual communication, and address the person, not their interpreter, if they have one.

Folding a wheelchair

Start by asking the rider how you can help. Follow their directions and be careful handling their wheelchair or scooter.

You can usually collapse the chair by pulling up from the middle of the seat and removing the foot rests. Learn more in the video.

Storing a wheelchair

Depending on the type of wheelchair, you may be able to fold it or disassemble it. Lifting the chair by the frame may make it easier to fold. See more in the video.

Storing a scooter

Small scooters can often be disassembled for storage. Lifting by the base can help you transfer it to and from your vehicle. Learn more in the video.