Not all of us have the same needs. While there are general necessities we all require to live, some require even more than the average Joe. It is unfortunate that some people have to be born with a disability and cripple them for life but there are those who get injured and disabled in the course of their lifetime. Living life is a bit harder for them as they don’t have all the senses normal people have to help them get through life. They can somehow manage when they are at home but it is an entirely different story when they are out of the house.
The stigma associated with any disability aside from seeing the raised eyebrows of the people around them aren’t just the only hurdles these people face. Moving around is actually one of the biggest problems since many establishments do not yet have the facility to accommodate them. Fortunately, this issue is continuously being addressed over the years. Now, Uber is presenting those with handicaps a better way to travel with UberASSIST.
UberASSIST was launched in a partnership with Transportation For All (T4A), an organisation that provides disability equality training for Uber's drivers on how to assist those with different access needs.
Those drivers would be equipped with better skills to assist passengers with physical, hearing and visual impairments as well as those who need assistance during their rides. For riders, uberASSIST would be just a button tap away. The price will be the same as a regular uberX ride, according to a press release from the app-based private hire company and pioneer in the "sharing economy".
Siripa Jungsawat, general manager of Uber Thailand, said that uberASSIST showcases how innovative ideas benefit society and provide passengers with greater choice and control in their day to day activities. With uberASSIST, passengers with access needs would enjoy greater independence and opportunities.
While this initiative has only been launched in Bangkok, Thailand, it is baby steps to helping those with disabilities a stress-free way of traveling and going about their day without having to worry about commuting or traveling in a crowd especially in a country that is not as progressive as Thailand and commuting can be such a hassle even for a normal person. With the help of UberASSIST, Uber drivers will get trained on how to respond to the various special needs of individuals with disabilities without any markup on the price of the ride. Perhaps that’s the best news of all for everyone especially those with disabilities.
Uber's technology allows passengers to know their driver and vehicle details, estimate their arrival time, view their estimated fares before taking a trip, and allow them to stay in contact with their families throughout the ride through the "share my trip function". UberASSIST is not an ambulance service but is a new choice for passengers in need of assistance during their daily travels, whether they have special needs or are elderly passengers. There are 1.8 million people with disabilities and 12 million elderly people in Thailand. In market terms, this is a huge segment to capture.
No man is an island. It’s like a cliché as old as time. So, we can’t just stay cooped up at home and not interact with the rest of the world. We all go out and make our days productive. The same thing applies to people with special needs. Some of them may be blind, deaf, mute, or physically have other types of disabilities but that does not mean they can’t enjoy whatever the world has to offer that many of us take for granted on a daily basis.
Let’s give a big shout out to Uber for going the extra mile and finding ways to make transportation safer and more efficient for those with handicaps because not all transportation companies will do that. Pressure on key associations will help. Maybe Uber will also implement this project in other countries and make an even bigger positive difference to this world because we can all live with a little less hate and more love, understanding, and tolerance of each other’s differences.
The following blog article Special Needs Met By UberASSIST is republished from PB