Accessibility at Uber
Our goal is to make transportation more accessible to people with disabilities. We’re committed to building solutions that support everyone’s ability to easily move around their communities.
Riders with disabilities
Riders who are blind or low-vision
Uber is helping increase the mobility, efficiency, and independence of transportation for riders who are blind or have low vision, with features and capabilities like:
- VoiceOver iOS technology. With VoiceOver iOS and wireless braille display compatibility, the Uber app makes it easier for riders who are blind to get from A to B at the push of a button.
- Here’s how to use the Uber app’s iOS Accessibility Features
- OR Listen to Mike May’s podcasts on how to use the Uber app’s VoiceOver iOS feature
- Cashless payments. Uber’s cashless payment option simplifies the payment process, reducing the need for riders who are blind or low vision to worry about counting out cash payments or exchanging bills with a driver.
- On-Demand transportation. The Uber app makes it easier for riders with disabilities to get from A to B at the push of a button. With the Uber app, riders who are blind or low vision no longer have to prearrange rides through a dispatcher or resort to other, less convenient, means of hailing a ride.
- Real-time GPS. Uber uses GPS to map and follow every trip in real time. This gives riders peace-of-mind knowing that efficient routes are being utilized, and help eliminates the risk of fraud.
- Equal Access for All. Every trip request you make 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. For riders who are blind or low-vision and may be traveling with service animals, Uber’s Code of Conduct and Service Animal Policy clearly requires driver-partners to comply with all applicable laws regarding the transportation of service animals.
- Share your ETA and location. Riders who are blind or low vision can easily share their ride details, including the specific route and estimated time of arrival, with friends or family for extra peace of mind. Friends or family members will receive a link where they can find out in real time the name and photo of the driver, the vehicle, and track where you are on the map until you arrive at your destination — all without downloading the Uber app.
“I believe Uber is the most significant advancement in independence for me and other blind people so far this century.”
— Mike May, CEO of Sendero Group, Technology Consultant to Uber Technologies
Riders who are deaf or hard of hearing
Audio is not 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 destination, can facilitate non-verbal communication between the rider and driver-partner.
Riders with ambulatory disabilities
We’re using technology to make transportation more accessible and reliable for riders with ambulatory disabilities.
- We are piloting several models in various cities across the country to determine which wheelchair accessible vehicle options best meet the needs of our riders and driver-partners. These pilots range from making our technology available to wheelchair accessible taxis to providing wheelchair accessible options through partnerships with commercial providers (e.g. in New York, Houston, Chicago, London, Portland).
- Our uberWAV (pilot program for wheelchair accessible vehicle options) and uberASSIST (a voluntary suite of additional informational materials offered to driver-partners on how to best assist riders into vehicles and accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers and scooters) programs are designed specifically to improve efficiency, ease, and reliability for riders with ambulatory disabilities.
“By launching [uberWAV], Uber is offering people requiring wheelchair accessible vehicles the opportunity to request an on-demand ride with the touch of a button. As an organization that works to improve the 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 of Open Doors Organization
“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 for Houstonians with accessibility needs. UberWAV will empower people requiring wheelchair accessible vehicles to get a ride when they need one by simply pressing a button.”
–Tony Coelho, Co-author of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Riders with assistance needs
At Uber, we strive to create transportation options that fit everyone’s needs. UberASSIST is designed to connect seniors and people with disabilities to transportation providers who can give them additional assistance. With UberASSIST, top-rated driver-partners may obtain independent training from the Open Doors Organization to assist riders into vehicles and can accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters. UberASSIST is currently available in over 40 cities around the world.
Driver-partners with disabilities
Driver-partners who are deaf or hard of hearing
Uber is opening up flexible economic opportunities for driver-partners who are deaf or hard of hearing. There are now thousands of deaf and hard of hearing driver-partners on the Uber platform in the U.S. who are providing more rides per month on average than hearing driver-partners. Deaf driver-partners across the U.S. have collectively earned more than $10 million — all by helping people get around their communities.
In September 2016, Uber was recognized by the Ruderman Family Foundation as one of 18 companies leading the way in supporting people with disabilities. More information here.
Additionally, we recently 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-partner experience.
These product capabilities include:
- Enabling these features in app. We recently added the ability for partners to self-identify as deaf or hard of hearing in the partner app, which unlocks the following features for drivers and their riders.
- Flashing trip request. The Uber Partner app signals a new trip request with a flashing light in addition to the existing audio notification. This makes it easier for driver-partners to notice when there’s a new opportunity to give a ride and make some money.
- Turns off calling and uses text-only messaging. The ability to call a deaf or hard of hearing driver-partner is turned off for the rider — instead, riders are directed to text their driver if they need to communicate with them. Driver-partners who use this setting are less likely to have rides canceled after a failed phone call.
- Adds a prompt for the rider’s destination. The app will add an extra prompt for riders to enter their destination and lets them know their driver is deaf or hard of hearing. Once a partner with this setting turned on accepts a ride, the rider will see a prominent screen asking for their destination. Uber can then provide turn-by-turn directions once the ride begins.
- Shows a message to let riders know their driver-partner is deaf or hard of hearing. Along with the prompt for destination, a message appears letting the rider know that their driver is deaf or hard of hearing.
“Uber has incorporated accessible technology for Deaf and hard of hearing people directly into their 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 driver-partners to give rides to people on the road — 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 of the Communication Service for the Deaf
Driver-partners with ambulatory disabilities
Uber provides economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities. Uber welcomes driver-partners who use modified vehicles and hand controls on the Uber platform. Anyone who is legally able to drive can apply to partner with Uber.
Accessibility Compliance Notification
- Driver-partners must comply with all applicable state, federal and local laws governing the transportation of riders with disabilities. A partner’s violation of the laws governing the accommodation of riders with disabilities constitutes a breach of the parties’ Technology Services Agreement.
- Accordingly, driver-partners are expected to accommodate riders using walkers, canes, folding wheelchairs or other assistive devices to the maximum extent possible.
- Any report of unlawful discrimination will result in the temporary deactivation of a partner’s account while Uber reviews the incident. Confirmed violations of the law with respect to riders with disabilities may result in permanent loss of a partner’s access to the Uber platform.
Service Animal Policy
State and federal law prohibit driver-partners using the Uber Driver App from denying service to riders with service animals because of the service animals, and from otherwise discriminating against riders with service animals. As explained in Uber’s Non-Discrimination Policy, driver-partners who engage in discriminatory conduct in violation of this legal obligation will lose their ability to use the Driver App. More information about Uber’s Service Animal Policy can be found here.