For a company to thrive in the face of change and competition, it must continue to evolve. The ability to adapt to changing climes and improve on services is the reason why Uber remains a leader in rideshare. That Uber has faced tremendous backlash in the media is no news. Uber has experienced a dramatic change in management, tons of law suits and its fair share of push back from governmental bodies. In the face of all these, Uber focused on improving its services to retain drivers and passengers.
In June 2017, Uber launched the 180 days of change to improve driver experience. Uber added more features to its app to benefit its drivers. It introduced friendlier acceptance rate policies, setting arrival times, 6 driver destination filters per day and many more. Among the many features is an update that teaches simple sign language to riders to enable them communicate with deaf Uber drivers or those that are hard of hearing.
In a move to improve communication between riders and driver, Uber riders can learn how to sign hello and other basic phrases once they are picked up by deaf Uber drivers or those who are hard of hearing.
For Deaf Uber Drivers
The company stated that it has thousands of deaf drivers and hopes to make rides more seamless. In 2015, Uber launched features that aid drivers that are deaf or hard of hearing. These features include:
- The driver app will signal a new trip request with a flashing light in addition to the existing audio notification
- Rider notification that the driver is deaf or hard of hearing and an extra prompt for riders to enter their destination
- Calling feature is turned off in-app and only text-only messaging with riders is allowed. The ability to call a deaf or hard of hearing driver-partner is turned off for the rider and the rider is encouraged to text the driver instead.
Now, the rideshare giant has added a feature that will educate riders on simple phrases in American Sign Language.
When riders are matched with deaf drivers, they have the option of learning basic ASL signs within the Uber app. Riders can learn simple phrases like “hello” and “thank you” to aid communication. This feature was introduced to increase awareness of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
What this means
It is obvious that this feature will improve working relationships between riders and drivers that are deaf and hard of hearing. It will also go a long way in promoting equal employment opportunities for all. The disabled community is a significant part of any country’s workforce. Uber has stated that “thousands of people who drive with Uber are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and collectively they’ve completed millions of trips.”
It will be a huge service to humanity if similar initiatives are adopted by businesses all over the world.