Uber's new accessibility features create job opportunities for Deaf and hearing impaired drivers

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Monday, 9 May 2016 09:30am

Uber has recently improved its app’s accessibility for drivers who are Deaf or hearing impaired, removing communication barriers so that they can have an equal opportunity to become an Uber driver.

A man holding a phone with the Uber app displayed, standing in view of a busy road

What is Uber?

Uber is an online transportation network that allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.

How the new app updates works

When a passenger uses the Uber app to schedule a pick-up, the option to use voice-calling to contact a Deaf or hearing impaired driver is disabled.  Riders are instead instructed to use text messaging to contact the driver with any queries.

When a passenger books the ride from the driver the notification will come up on the driver’s phone screens using a flashing light rather than just a line of text and a beep, which could be easily missed.

The app then includes an extra prompt for passengers to enter their destination in advance, and will let them know that their driver is Deaf or hearing impaired.

The updates are supported by Deaf Australia, the leading advocacy group for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Australia. Although these changes are small, they have the potential to make a big impact on Deaf or hard of hearing drivers.

To sign up to become an Uber driver or learn more about Uber, see their website for further information.

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