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Uber updates app for deaf drivers

Uber is at it again – behaving like a company which got way too big way too fast and now needs to cover too many bases. Uber is now working with the National association for the Deaf, once again pushing the boundaries of transportation and now going further for drivers with impaired hearing.

If this doesn’t make your heart swell, then I am sure the private driver service can add something to its app for that too, otherwise this has got to be one of the best Corporate Social Responsibility products I have seen all year. Limitless should be Uber’s moto because it’s speaking up and standing for those who can’t themselves. Especially if you cant drive yourself.

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A driver who has a hearing impairment will have a light that flashes when a ride request comes in, most likely the screen and flash. This request will also only be available in text format, instead of a phone call, a separate screen on the app will appear along with a note that informs you that your driver is hard of hearing.

Wired reports, ” Uber says it is testing these special features in four cities for now—Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—but if the trial run goes well, the updates could roll out nationwide in as little as two weeks.”

Sign language is something that we feel can be extremely practical and on an awesome scale of 1 to Michael Phelps, it scores 20. Provided you know what you are saying and you aren’t standing in front of a camera broadcasting live around the world. Not to point any fingers or anything but the interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial was two fat dogs trying to get through the same dog door hilarious. Although there is something painfully romantic in having a conversation in sign language while everyone else in the club spits in each other’s face.

I feel comfortable knowing that Uber is taking the necessary steps to improve their hard of hearing driver’s experience; perhaps this is just a drop of effort in the ocean of failed contact points with the disabled community. Wired has reported cases of guide dogs not being able to ride shotgun or at all, in fact and another case of a women in a wheelchair not being  able to receive the service.
Uber argued that as a technology company, it is not subject to laws regulating public transit and other transportation providers, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Uber announced that the new features are being tested in select cities, which include Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. However, the company is hoping to roll out the latest features to other locations in the near term.


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