Commentary: Uber and the ADA

May 26, 2015

For several months, I’ve been hearing and reading stories about Uber’s ongoing legal battle with courts in the United States regarding their need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While disability advocates say Uber should comply with the ADA, Uber believes otherwise. They argue that because they contract with independent drivers and their services are requested via the Internet, then they should be exempt from the ADA.

As a person who is blind, I rely on public transportation. This sometimes means booking a cab to go to home, work, shopping, etc. I believe I have the right to use any cab company of my choice and deserve to be treated like non-disabled individuals. I also understand, however, that cab drivers – whether independent contractors or not – probably don’t interact with individuals with disabilities on a daily basis. That is why I think Uber and all cab companies should provide their drivers with disability awareness training.

By complying with the law and receiving special training, drivers would greatly improve their attitude and services for people with disabilities. I think that this is not just a matter of providing good service, but rather, it‘s a matter of treating everyone equally and with respect. You can read more about Uber’s position on complying with the ADA as well as some ongoing lawsuits here.

What are your thoughts about this ongoing situation? Have you had any positive or negative experiences with Uber as a person with a visual impairment? We’d love to hear your comments! Once again, thanks for reading!

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