Open Doors Organization began working with Uber in 2014 to improve its rideshare service for people with disabilities. Under our guidance they have created two programs, UberAssist and UberAccess. UberAssist uses standard vehicles and requires drivers who volunteer for the program to receive disability awareness training and learn out to handle and stow mobility devices including manual wheelchairs. UberAssist uses wheelchair accessible vehicles and requires drivers to receive training as well on wheelchair securement. ODO developed the training courses and has conducted classroom trainings in a number of cities nationwide with many more to come. In addition ODO wrote and filmed a training video for Uber in Washington, DC, in 2014 and will create a second training video for use nationwide in 2016.
Web-based training opportunities include driver training and tutorial opportunities focused on appropriate language and good customer service, along with video demonstrations of how to assist passengers using mobility devices and how to guide those with vision loss.
In-person training opportunities including best practices in how to assist passengers with disabilities such as guiding people with vision loss, communicating with people with hearing loss, assisting passengers with cognitive disabilities, and assisting passengers with reduced mobility in entering and exiting the vehicle and stowing mobility devices including walkers, rollators, canes, and foldable and collapsible manual wheelchairs. ODO also provides hands-on training for drivers operating wheelchair accessible vehicles which requires drivers to first observe how to properly secure a passenger using a wheelchair in the vehicle, after which the driver must demonstrate securing a wheelchair with all of the required securement equipment.