For the more than 55 million Americans with disabilities, getting around isn’t always easy. This month our nation celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which sought to level the playing field for both job opportunity and mobility for Americans with disabilities. We wanted to mark this milestone with an update on some of the work we’ve been doing to improve Uber’s accessibility for both riders and drivers with disabilities.
We’ve worked closely with leaders in the accessibility community to improve the Uber app and experience. For example, we recently rolled out product innovations that facilitate greater economic opportunity for deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers. The Uber rider application’s accessible technology features accommodate people who are blind and visually impaired and we are working with our driver partners to ensure service animals are always welcome. UberASSIST, available in select markets, is designed for riders who would like additional assistance, and all drivers accommodate folding wheelchairs.
“For too long, people with disabilities have needed to rely on others for their transportation needs. With ridesharing options like Uber, millions more can now get to work on their own, visit friends, or enjoy an evening out. Uber helps to level the playing field and fulfills the promise of creating a more equal America for the disabled.”
— Tony Coelho, former U.S. congressman and an author of the Americans With Disabilities Act
Customized Accessibility Features on the Uber Platform:
Here are more details on the product features that expand accessibility for the Uber community:
For Blind and Vision-Impaired Users — With VoiceOver iOS and wireless braille display compatibility, the Uber app provides a reliable transportation option for the blind and visually impaired community. Listen to Uber with VoiceOver iOS Podcast here from Mike May, CEO of Sendero Group and Technology Consultant to Uber.
For Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Riders and Drivers — Uber has developed product innovations to make Uber’s economic opportunity easier to access for deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers. Visible and vibrating alerts also aid deaf and hard-of-hearing riders. In-app features such as the ability to enter a destination ensure effective communication between rider and driver.
UberASSIST — Driver-partners receive specialized training from disability community organizations to provide additional assistance for seniors and people with disabilities. Uber is piloting uberASSIST in Chicago, Houston, San Diego, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon, and rides are the same cost as regular uberX service. uberASSIST is also available in Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Gold Coast.
Wheelchair Accessibility — All drivers on the Uber platform are able to accommodate folding wheelchairs. We have also partnered with wheelchair-accessible transportation providers in multiple pilot programs in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Diego.
Accessibility Curriculum and Non-Discrimination Policy — When they first sign up to drive and on an ongoing basis, drivers receive materials on accessibility compliance, including a video about accommodating riders with disabilities, which is also available for online reference. Uber expects driver partners to comply with all state, federal and local laws governing the transportation of riders with disabilities, including accessibility laws. Our Code of Conduct details Uber’s policy on accommodating people with disabilities, and specifically prohibits any type of discrimination in serving riders with disabilities.
Core Product Accessibility Features on the Uber Platform:
In addition to our customized accessibility product features and services, there are a number of ways riding with Uber is easier for riders with disabilities:
- Efficiency and Reliability: On-demand rides are available around the clock, every day of the year, offering people increased freedom to come and go as needed, whenever and wherever they are, including in neighborhoods that are traditionally underserved by taxi and public transit.
- Ease of communication with drivers: Riders can always contact drivers directly via text or call with any requests, questions or special instructions.
- Cashless transaction: Because there’s no exchange of cash, the Uber experience is seamless for riders being cashless also enhances rider and driver safety.
- Accountability: Our code of conduct includes an enforceable non-discrimination policy.
- Real-time feedback: Uber incorporates real-time feedback via the app, email and our website. Our customer service teams are available 24/7.
- Economic Opportunity: For drivers, Uber is a chance to earn an income with flexible hours. For riders, Uber is an efficient, affordable ride anywhere, anytime.
Uber’s On-going Commitment to Accessible Transportation:
As we continue to enhance our technology to further increase mobility for riders and drivers with accessibility need, we want to hear from you. Let us know about your Uber experience and your ideas for how to make it even better as we continue to expand access to reliable transportation options around the world.
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