Visitability Case Study - Inclusivity

Uber

INTRODUCTION

Uber is a smartphone app that connects riders with drivers at the touch of a button, and Melbourne is one of more than 360 cities across 67 countries where it operates. Uber is continuing to increase mobility options for riders with different accessibility needs by working hard to provide inclusive access to safe, reliable and affordable door to door transport.

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Accessible transport for all

Uber is enabling riders with a disability to find more independence in their commute to work, while running daily errands, or visiting loved ones. There are a number of ways Uber is making travel easier for riders with a disability by offering:

  • Efficiency and Reliability: On demand rides are available around the clock, every day of the year. This offers people increased freedom to come and go as needed, wherever they are – including in neighbourhoods that are traditionally underserved by taxis and public transit.
  • Ease of communication with drivers: Riders can always contact drivers directly via text or call with any requests, questions or special instructions.
  • Cashless transaction: Because there’s no exchange of cash, the Uber experience is seamless for riders. A cashless service also enhances rider and driver safety.
  • Accountability: Uber prohibits any type of discrimination in serving riders with disability, including accepting riders with service animals.
  • Real-time feedback: Uber incorporates real-time feedback via the app, email and our website.
  • Travel with Service Animals: Uber drivers who are registered to accommodate riders with a disability are required to accommodate service animals in compliance with Australian accessibility laws. 
Uber Visitability Case Study 2

uberASSIST: Expanding transportation options

In Australia, Uber offers a service called uberASSIST which is designed to provide additional assistance for members of the community with accessibility needs. With uberASSIST, Uber driver-partners receive specific training on the necessary knowledge and safety requirements of people with different accessibility needs. These drivers can accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers and scooters and must provide capacity for service animals.

In keeping with the concept of accessibility, uberASSIST rides are the same price as standard uberX rides and can be requested on demand through the uberASSIST option button in the Uber app. The uberASSIST option can be unlocked in the Uber app by entering the code ‘ASSISTAU’ in the promotions section.

VISION-IMPAIRED AND HARD-OF-HEARING RIDERS

With VoiceOver iOS compatibility, the Uber app provides a safe and reliable transportation option for the visually impaired community. And with various text prompts and visual features, audio is not needed for full functionality of the Uber app. 

Assistive technology such as visible and vibrating alerts can help riders use the Uber app easily. In-app features, such as the ability to enter destination, ensure effective communication from the rider to the driver partner.

Developing a digital product with accessibility in mind

The Uber app was built to expand access to accountable, reliable transportation options for all, including riders with disabilities. Uber is committed to building solutions that support everyone’s ability to easily move around their communities. 

In order to achieve this, within Australia Uber has worked closely with organisations including the Australian Network on Disability, Deaf Australia, Assistance Dogs Australia, Vision Australia, Conexu Foundation and Enabled Employment to expand accessible transportation options for both riders and drivers with disability.

Uber Visitability Case Study

Testimonials and quotes from the disability community

“(Uber) was the first smartphone app which enabled people who are blind or vision impaired to independently order a car and actually track it’s progress...I can arrive when I want to. I can stay until I’ve had enough, and when I’m ready just like everyone else they pick up their car keys, I pick up my phone. I open up the app and I order my car. It’s as simple as that. I really, really feel empowered by that.”

Johann, Blind Uber Rider

“Uber is the single best advancement for the mobility of blind people in the past decade.”

Mike May, CEO of Sendero Group, Technology Consultant to Uber Technologies

“...technology, however, is a great enabler and is very quickly reducing these barriers and unlocking human potential. The enhancements Uber has made to their app, paired with their commitment to accessibility, perfectly demonstrates how the features in common technology can be applied to make communication a nonissue and get people back in the game.”

Rachel McKay, Chief Strategy Officer, Conexu Foundation

Conexu works to ensure advances in communication technology to improve the connectedness of Deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired Australians.