Friday, 8 December 2017

Special Needs Met By UberASSIST

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


Sunday, 3 December 2017

Merry Christmas Or Happy Holidays???

The leaves are falling and the wind is colder, it only tells us one thing: Winter is fast approaching. If there is one more thing many of us look forward the most come winter season is not only the arrival of snow (which is usually nice a first until you have to get rid of them so you can get out of the house or experience getting stranded in a blizzard) but Christmastime. Unlike the general notion that Christmas is just for the kids, even adults actually look forward to the coming of Christmas. Gift-giving, making memories with the people you love over delicious home-cooked meals, and no work/school, what more can you ask for?

Yet people actually see this time of the year differently depending on your religious affiliations. And in a country like America that is a melting pot of all race and religions, many things are interpreted differently that can create issues when there shouldn’t have been in the first place when we should all be respecting other people’s rights to what they want in life. The most recent one that caught the public’s attention is the remark of President Donald Trump during the Values Voter Summit Friday last week when he said something that was taken out of context or probably not?

President Trump has once again turned a holiday greeting into a political football.

At the Values Voter Summit on Friday, as evidence of his defense of “Judeo-Christian values,” the president promised to roaring cheers from the crowd that “we will be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.” The onslaught of politically correct secularism will be stemmed, he suggested, and those wishing people “Happy Holidays” will be rebuffed as the godless elites they really are.

In a way, the president is right: Christmas is political. But not in the way he thinks.


So, should we really be saying “Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays” instead? We don’t want to create a big divide as if we as a nation is not already that divided. We may only have two main political parties but our political beliefs have put a big wall among others who do not share the same belief as us. And with a president that is known to be notorious with his words and rather social media savvy (Yeah, he loves Twitter), he said something again that caused an uproar and painted a different picture to the incoming holidays.

Like, you can worship any god you want to in America. But there’s not one single religion that runs the country — or one single God we all believe in. Yes, that can get confusing sometimes considering the Pledge of Allegiance and the message on our dollar bills. But ultimately, our country was founded with the promise of ensuring religious freedom. So one person on Twitter decided to clear things up for the president by tweeting this perfect gem.

Trump doesn’t seem to understand that in America, you’re allowed to practice whatever religion you want. And despite his claim to the crowd at the Values Voter Summit, full of conservatives who don’t think health care should cover birth control or that same sex marriage is a constitutional right, “Judeo-Christian values” aren’t under attack. But Trump felt the need to lie anyway, in the name of getting some cheers and applause. Because of course he did.


He may want to portray himself as a president unlike previous leaders the country had but his radical ways always put him in a bad light and show just who he really is deep down. First of all, he should stop tweeting already using his personal account. As a public official and the highest elected leader in the nation, there is an official channel where he can communicate with the people. Second, he may want to filter his thoughts and think first before uttering something especially write something online because the whole world is watching his every move and will dissect his every statement. He better leave speaking his mind on religious issues out as there is a supposed separation of the state and the church. It’s not only for the best interest of the country and himself but to avoid fuelling the public to scrutinize and oppose one another.

The blog article Merry Christmas Or Happy Holidays??? See more on:


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