Enabling the visually-impaired to get to their destinations safelyPOSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 18 April 2017
In a commitment to expand access to safe, affordable and reliable transportation options, Uber Malaysia has partnered with the National Council for the Blind, Malaysia (NCBM) to empower blind riders with the choice of traveling independently.
Uber Malaysia announced that the partnership with the NCBM is made to enable riders with visual impairment and other disabilities to move around their communities with just a touch of a button.
The company will work closely with the NCBM to provide free rides to their members and organise special sessions for driver-partners on how to serve blind riders. The training will also educate blind riders on how convenient it is to use the ride-sharing app.
Commenting on the partnership, Leon Foong, Uber Malaysia’s general manager said, “At Uber, we believe everyone should have the choice of traveling independently; especially people with disabilities, who often face more challenges in a world designed for the able-bodied. We are proud to partner with the NCBM to demonstrate how technology can solve real-world problems with real people in mind, by offering safe and reliable transportation for blind people in Malaysia at just the push of a button.”
Executive director of the NCBM Moses Choo explained, “Blind Malaysians have typically needed to rely on others for their transportation needs. Now, with ride-sharing options such as Uber, we can get to work, visit friends or enjoy an evening out more independently. We are glad that Uber has chosen to work with the NCBM to engage the blind through the use of innovation that opens opportunities for more Malaysians, and create a more accessible Malaysia for the disabled.”
Here’s how Uber’s app works to increase the mobility and independence of riders who are blind or have low vision. Features and capabilities include:
- Integration with smartphone accessibility options for the blind. Whether it is VoiceOver iOS, TalkBack on Android or other wireless braille display compatibility devices, the Uber app makes it easier for riders who are blind to get from point A to B at the push of a button.
- Cashless payments. Uber’s cashless payment option simplifies the payment process, reducing the need for riders who are blind or have low vision to worry about counting cash payments or exchanging bills with a driver.
- On-Demand transportation. With the Uber app, riders who are blind or have 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 utilised and helps eliminate 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 discrimination to interfere with the process of securing reliable, affordable transportation.
- Share your ETA and location. Riders who are blind or have 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.