Accessibility using Uber
Our technology and the transportation provided by drivers has transformed mobility for many people with disabilities, and we’re committed to continuing to develop technologies that support everyone’s ability to easily move around their communities.
Riders with disabilities
Uber’s technology is helping to increase mobility and independence for riders with disabilities, with features and capabilities like these:
Uber’s cashless payment option simplifies the payment process, reducing the need for riders to worry about counting out cash or exchanging bills with a driver.
The Uber app makes it easier for riders with disabilities to get from A to B at the touch of a button. They no longer have to arrange trips through a dispatcher or resort to other, less convenient, means of finding a driver.
Uber uses upfront pricing to let riders know the cost of their trip before they request it. This gives them peace of mind and helps eliminate the risk of fraud.
Every trip request a rider makes is automatically matched to a nearby driver by the Uber app, reducing opportunities for unlawful discrimination to interfere with the process of securing reliable, affordable transportation.
Share your ETA and location
Riders can easily share their trip details, including the specific route and estimated time of arrival, with loved ones for extra peace of mind. Friends or family members will receive a link where they can see the driver’s name, photo and vehicle information, and track where the rider is on the map in real time until they arrive at their destination – all without downloading the Uber app.
Riders with mobility disabilities
We’re using technology to make transportation more accessible and reliable for riders with mobility disabilities, including through WAV (wheelchair-accessible vehicles).
Uber’s WAV lets riders who use non-folding motorised wheelchairs connect with drivers in wheelchair-accessible vehicles equipped with ramps or lifts.
Available around the world
We’re using several WAV models in cities around the world (including Bangalore, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington DC) to determine which wheelchair-accessible vehicle options best meet the needs of riders and drivers.
“By launching [WAV], Uber is offering people requiring wheelchair-accessible vehicles the opportunity to request a trip on demand with the touch of a button. As an organisation that works to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities, I applaud Uber for expanding options for those of us desiring wheelchair-accessible vehicles.”
– Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organisation
“UberX has been a game changer for millions of people moving all around the world, and I’m thrilled to see Uber applying the same creative ingenuity to provide more consumer choices and opportunities… WAV will empower people requiring wheelchair-accessible vehicles to get a driver when they need one, by simply pressing a button.”
– Tony Coelho, co-author, Americans with Disabilities Act
“I believe Uber is the most significant advancement in independence for me and other blind people so far this century.”
– Mike May, former Executive Director, BVI Workforce Innovation Centre, Envision Inc.
Riders who are deaf or hard of hearing
Audio isn’t needed for full functionality of the Uber app. Assistive technology such as visible and vibrating alerts can help riders who are deaf or hard of hearing use the Uber app easily, and in-app features, such as the ability to enter a destination, can facilitate non-verbal communication between the rider and driver.
Riders with assistance needs
At Uber, we strive to increase access to transportation solutions for everyone, everywhere. Assist is designed to provide people who would like a helping hand with additional assistance. With Assist, top-rated drivers may obtain independent training from third-party organisations to help riders into vehicles. Assist is currently available in more than 40 cities around the world.
Uber Eats customers with disabilities
Customers who are blind or low-vision
With iOS VoiceOver and Android TalkBack, the Uber Eats app makes it easier for customers who are blind or low-vision to order food from restaurants at the touch of a button. See how to use the Uber Eats app with these accessibility features.
Customers who are deaf or hard of hearing
Audio isn’t needed for full functionality of the Uber Eats app. Assistive technology such as visible and vibrating alerts can help customers who are deaf or hard of hearing use the Uber Eats app easily. In-app features, such as the ability to enter a delivery destination, can facilitate non-verbal communication between the customer and courier.
Drivers with disabilities
Drivers with mobility disabilities
Uber provides economic opportunities for people with mobility disabilities. Uber welcomes drivers who use modified vehicles and hand controls on the Uber platform. Anyone who is legally able to drive can apply to drive with Uber.
Drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing
Uber opens up flexible economic opportunities for drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Thousands of deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers on the Uber platform provide more trips per month on average than hearing drivers. Drivers who are deaf have collectively earned tens of millions of dollars – all by helping people get around their communities.
In September 2016, Uber was recognised by the Ruderman Family Foundation as one of 18 companies leading the way in supporting people with disabilities.
“Uber has incorporated accessible technology for people who are deaf and hard of hearing directly into its app, providing unprecedented access for the deaf community to make money by driving with Uber. This partnership with CSD will provide more than a simple opportunity for deaf drivers to provide people with trips – it’s an opportunity to build bridges between people and influence a new perception of the abilities and humanity of deaf people.”
– Chris Soukup, CEO, Communication Service for the Deaf
Product features for deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers
In addition, we have partnered with the Communication Service for the Deaf, the largest deaf-led nonprofit in the United States, to expand opportunities for deaf men and women. We’ve also worked with members of the deaf community, including the National Association of the Deaf and Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI), to design and implement a series of fully optional product capabilities to improve the driver experience, including these:
Enabling these features in the app
Drivers can self-identify as deaf or hard of hearing in the Driver app, which unlocks the following features for drivers and their riders.
Flashing trip request
The Uber Driver app signals a new trip request with a flashing light and an audio notification. This makes it easier for drivers to notice when there’s a new opportunity to drive with Uber and make some money.
Text-only messaging, rather than calling
The ability to call a deaf or hard-of-hearing driver is turned off for the rider. Instead, riders are directed to message their driver if they need to communicate with them. Drivers who use this setting are less likely to have trips cancelled after a failed phone call.
A prompt for the rider’s destination
The app adds an extra prompt for riders to enter their destination and lets them know their driver is deaf or hard of hearing. Once a driver with this setting turned on confirms a trip, the rider will see a prominent screen asking for their destination. Uber can then provide turn-by-turn directions once the trip begins.
To find out more about these features, watch this video.
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