Uber’s Capabilities for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Partners

Chances are you’ve summoned a ride using Uber by now, or you know someone who has. A regular user or driver is likely to notice frequent updates to the app – in their own words, the transportation network company is “always working to make the Uber experience as hassle-free as possible for our riders and driver-partners.”

Besides setting a fleet of driverless cars out onto the streets of Pittsburgh (we’re growing to trust them!), Uber appears to live up to its statement with the inclusion of accessibility features.

Hard of Hearing? No Problem for Uber.

There’s a feature for that. How does it work? From Uber’s website: “The Uber Partner app includes capabilities for deaf and hard of hearing partners. These features are all completely optional.”

Uber partners who are deaf or hard of hearing need only make the setting active, which prompts their app to:

  • Turn off calling and use text-only messaging. “The ability to call a deaf or hard of hearing driver-partner is turned off for the rider – instead, riders are directed to text their driver if they need to communicate with them.”
  • Flashing trip request notifications. “The Uber Partner app signals a new trip request with a flashing light in addition to the existing audio notification.”
  • Add a prompt for the rider’s destination. “Once a partner with this setting turned on accepts a ride, the rider will see a prominent screen asking for their destination.”
  • Show a message to let riders know the driver is deaf or hard of hearing.

Lead The Way

Widely-known companies that provide features like this pave the way for inclusion in our workplaces, our tech, and even our social interactions. Where it could have been easy for Uber to just encourage diverse hiring, they identified an opportunity to actively welcome capable drivers who are hard of hearing by ensuring their experience, and the experience of those drivers’ riders, is the best it can be.

This is what the Dignity & Respect Campaign’s Lead the Way initiative is truly about: recognizing and promoting our companies, institutions, communities and apps! who support the potential of ALL and treat others with dignity and respect.

You don’t have to be Uber to make a difference. Dignity and respect can start anywhere, big or small. How can your organization can help to make the world a better place?

Learn more this Uber accessibility feature here.


Do Your Part: Help Us Fight Violence

Violence is a constant presence in the news. Scroll through most Facebook and Twitter feeds, or open up any newspaper and you will see the sheer volume of violent acts that happen across both the country and the world.

Community violence, in particular, is most commonly featured on these news platforms and is defined as an intentional attempt to hurt one or more people. In fact, every day in the U.S. over 85 gun deaths occur – which is around 3 deaths per hour. Last year, over 16,000 homicides were committed, and a U.S. Department of Justice study found that over 60% of children in America have been exposed to violence.

But violence doesn’t only occur on the outside in a physical way. Violence can also affect people both emotionally and psychologically. For simple proof of this, compare the 16,000 homicides last year to the 38,000 suicides that also occurred. Violence comes in many forms and is difficult to understand.

According to the CDC’s Principles of Prevention (POP) curriculum, violence as a whole is a complicated issue and there are multiple influences at various levels. “There’s no single reason why some people behave violently while others do not.”

So what can be done about the issue?

The Dignity & Respect Campaign takes all of these statistics very seriously – and when it comes to violence and destruction, enough is enough. Violence places a huge burden on the health of our country and we want your help in working to fight it.

We believe the first step towards violence prevention is education, which is why we’ve started our “I Will Do My Part” initiative. We also want to promote resources like POP training so that you can better understand violence, as well as programs like STRYVE that address more specific kinds of violence.

But beyond these helpful materials, we encourage you to remember that violence is a large issue that can be tackled a little bit at a time. You might not be capable of foreseeing and preventing a mass shooting, but you can speak out and help to demolish violent bigotry towards other cultures. You can look for ways you can get involved locally and report back to D&R on how you helped.

Small acts matter just as much as the large ones do. How will you play your part to stop violence?

Dignity and Respect Fest brings inclusion and multiculturalism to the multitudes

reposted from PopCity…

Dignity and Respect Fest brings inclusion and multiculturalism to the multitudes
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UPMC’s workplace inclusion program has now gone from an internal effort to a community-wide, free Dignity and Respect Fall Festival set for Oct. 16 at Schenley Plaza in Oakland.”We are planning for it to be an annual event,” says Dawnita Wilson, who is program director of inclusion initiatives at UPMC’s Center for Inclusion and manager of the Center’s Dignity and Respect Campaign.

The Campaign began in 2008 with UPMC employees pledging their support for inclusion in their workplace. Employee groups devised 30 tips to help with the effort, from simple courtesies to being open, flexible and “culturally competent.””Dignity and respect to them meant these small little behaviors that we lose sight of on a day-to-day basis – things we learn when we are young,” notes Wilson.

The Campaign then became a wider initiative last year, gaining 60 community partners who spearheaded a literal pledge drive – 5,000 people throughout the area pledged to honor the Campaign’s goals of fostering multiculturalism and diversity.

The Campaign also offers a monthly Dignity and Respect Champion Award, most recently to Barbara Murock, a county behavioral-health specialist who works toward better health-care policy for vulnerable groups. This year’s festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will celebrate those same principles – and offer some fun, including rock climbing by Venture Outdoors, multicultural entertainment from UMOJA African Arts Company and lion dancers/kung fu artists Steel Dragon, alongside games, health and educational information and other free stuff.

For more information, call 412-864-3582 or click here to e-mail.

Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Dawnita Wilson, UPMC Center for Inclusion