Community Question: How Do Blind People Use Uber in 2017?

The number one rideshare giant now ensures that its transportation options are accessible to all individuals, Uber has upgraded its app to accommodate the need of visually impaired persons.How Do Blind People Use Uber

Uber currently provides on-demand transportation for the blind through just a push of a button. They no longer have to go through the hustle of prearranged rides through a dispatcher or through other less inconvenient means to hail a ride.

Uber has achieved this by updating their app to include the iOS unique feature VoiceOver that works with a wireless braille keyboard for visually impaired riders.

For those who are blind and maybe physically impaired too, some cities have vehicles equipped with ramps to load wheelchairs, walking sticks, scooters etc. If this option is available in your city you may see it listed under uberASSIST and UberWAV in your app.

To get started the rider would need to create an Uber account, enable the VoiceOver feature and have a supported wireless braille. At this time, this feature is only available on iOS devices.

Create an Account

The first step requires one to create an account by providing details such as name, email, password, phone number and the preferred language. You will also be required to fill in the credit card information because this is the only available and convenient payment method for the visually impaired. The next step requires you to download the app to your iPhone.

Enable VoiceOver

You can enable your VoiceOver feature in your phone by going to General > Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver

The Uber iOS VoiceOver feature makes it more convenient for the visually impaired to rideshare with Uber, because it enables the riders to request for transport using their voice instead of typing in their phone. It can be used along a wireless braille display available in all languages.

Payment

The app supports a cashless payment option that makes it convenient for the visually impaired to make payments without the need to count or exchange the bills with the driver. The fare is billed automatically from the rider’s credit card and the receipt is sent via email.

Drivers

A few years ago, there were complaints in regards to discrimination against the visually impaired persons by the Uber drivers especially the ones with guide pets. However, the company implemented a zero tolerance policy against such behavior. The driver cannot discriminate against a passenger with a service dog (actually it’s against the law to refuse a rider with a service dog), and the rider does not necessarily need to notify the driver that he/she has a service companion ahead of time.

Security

The app has also made numerous adjustments to ensure the security and peace of mind of the visually impaired passengers. The app uses GPS to map and monitor each trip in real time. Thus, the visually impaired can share critical information such as specific route, the driver and vehicle information, and estimated time of arrival with their friends and family. This not only eliminates the risk of fraud but also ensured the peace of mind or the rider with the guaranteed security.

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