Accessible technology helps overcome transportation obstacles
“I feel absolutely amazed and grateful to Uber and to this unique experience. (…) What a pair! A blind person and a deaf person doing business.” Emrah, Chicago. (Uber Newsroom)
Uber is capitalizing on its technology based business model to increase the accessibility of the features made available to its users, both passenger and drivers. Thus far, the app has been made compatible with wireless braille display and VoiceOver iOS for the vision-impaired – it is noteworthy that VoiceOver is available in all cities where Uber operates. The service is also compatible with other apps and devices such as Ivee, a voice assistant that holds requesting an Uber ride as one of its many hands off capacities.
“Uber is committed to making the Uber app accessible for anyone wanting a safe, reliable and convenient way to get around — whether visually impaired, hard of hearing or a wheelchair user,” said Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang. “We are constantly innovating and exploring new ways to better serve all people with disabilities and, in fact, Uber has been commended by members of the disability community for increasing the freedom and mobility of riders and drivers with disabilities.” (Times Union)
The company also included visible alerts and vibrating features to its app to facilitate both the driver and passenger experiences. For situations when the driver is deaf, the Uber app automatically sets the “contact driver” option to a text only feature.
Users’ opinions, however, are not unanimous. Some complain of app updates rendering VoiceOver features incompatible, others that the company does not build on feedback given at conventions. Others, however, are satisfied with their experiences this far and particularly stress how convenient the app is for making contact with the driver. (Applevis Accessibility-Advocacy Forum)