September marks Guide Dog Access Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the critical role that guide dogs play. Whether it’s avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps, or negotiating traffic, a guide dog fosters independence for someone who is blind or partially sighted. It’s also a time for us at Uber Canada to think about the best way for all Canadians to easily access a ride.
As part of our non-discrimination policy, when entering into a platform access agreement with Uber, drivers agree to transport service animals in accordance with our Canadian Service Animal Policy, and operate in compliance with all applicable accessibility laws. Drivers who knowingly refuse a rider because of their service animal or assistive devices leads to loss of use of the Uber Driver App.
In ongoing conversations with the CNIB Foundation, we’ve received live feedback on some of the challenges using the app, and this feedback helps us to find better ways to support our users in Canada.
Some of the ways we’re addressing this include:
- Increasing information and resources for drivers on transporting riders with disabilities, including through quarterly email reminders on Uber’s Service Animal Policy
- Helping design and build products that are inclusive and meet the needs of our users by expanding our Inclusive Design team to support this important work.
We’re also reaffirming our commitment with CNIB over the next three years to create and support ongoing awareness campaigns around service animal policies. This includes sponsoring our very own CNIB Guide Dog, who will be raised, trained and matched to support a Canadian with sight loss.
There is still much more work to do. We’re committed to working with partners and listening to our users as we develop and implement more inclusive ways to ride with Uber.