Each year on 3 December, we come together to celebrate International Day of People with Disability. #IDPwD is a day to raise public awareness and acceptance and to recognise the achievements of people with disability.
This year, Uber Australia is excited to expand the uberASSIST service to 5 more Australian cities: Cairns, Hobart, Toowoomba, Townsville, and Wollongong. This is in addition to the 9 cities across Australia and 3 in New Zealand where uberASSIST is currently available.
uberASSIST provides extra assistance to people with different accessibility needs, including those living with disability, seniors, pregnant women, and people who are injured or ill.
To celebrate International Day of People with Disability, we are proud to share stories of how uberASSIST helps connect riders with different accessibility needs with their cities.
uberASSIST Rider, Sydney
Jim once worked as a VJ, creating live visuals for music festivals like Stereosonic and Future Music. During an American music tour he was involved in a major hit-and-run accident that left him hospitalised for nine months.
“I’ve had six surgeries so far, with one more major surgery to go. It will be another year of recovery after that and probably another 4-5 years before I can walk again. uberASSIST has been great, we found out about it from an Uber driver. I haven’t had a bad experience. All of the driver-partners have been great and are also happy when they come to pick me up.”
As a mother to four children, Mehnaz says there wasn’t much work out there that allows her to take the time off she needs to care for her kids. Then, her husband suggested she give Uber a go, and she has been driving for two years now. Uber gives her the freedom to drive when the kids are at school, so she can be there to pick them up everyday.
“Being an Uber driver-partner makes my family very proud of me, I also drive with uberASSIST. which is even better. It is a way for me to help the community and be a part of the community. To know I can help some who needs a bit more assistance getting somewhere safe and sound, makes me really happy.”
uberASSIST Rider – Perth
Helen suffers from Parkinson’s disease and struggles with her balance and walking. She makes sure she’s able to get out and about with uberASSIST.
“uberASSIST is very helpful, very safe and secure. When you have a disability you like to feel secure. Today, my driver-partner got out of the car and opened the door for me. It just makes me feel like my disability isn’t a problem, and that the driver-partners are happy to have me in their cars.”
Luckson was born in Zambia and always had a passion for education. After working in the IT sector for 12 years, Luckson pursued his dream of starting an eLearning program for children in Africa. Driving with Uber gives him the flexibility to run his ToKidz education program while also raising his own children. He’s also met many amazing riders along the way.
“I’ve had great conversations with riders and the uberASSIST riders really appreciate how I treat them. They say they feel really respected and safe, I hope there will be more uberASSIST driver-partners in the future and more education about the service, because many people I talk to didn’t know about uberASSIST, but once they do they think it’s amazing. Everyone should be able to get around and feel safe and secure in the process.”
uberASSIST rider, Perth
Sarah B. is a massage therapist and social worker. She is legally blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa and also suffers from chronic pain due to a musculoskeletal condition. Sarah’s guide dog, Honey, accompanies her everywhere, so it’s important that Honey is accepted wherever they go.
“I live in the outer suburbs of Perth and can’t drive, so uberASSIST makes it much easier to get around. The drivers are great and they are great with Honey, my service dog, which is something that’s important to me -that Honey is accepted.
It’s just an awesome service. I think that the best bit is the sense of freedom I get from just being able to order the car myself.”
Christopher was a former financial adviser who now runs a non-profit charity. The income he makes as an Uber driver-partner goes towards his foundation to support and help orphans and prisoners who are victims and missionaries.
“I like to help my family, my community and my church as much as possible, uberASSIST is another way for me to help. I have family and friends that need the service so to know I can also help in some small way is really good. Many different people need it for lots of different reasons and it’s good to know you made someone’s day a little nicer.”