In an effort to improve communication between deaf and hard of hearing Uber drivers and their passengers, Uber is offering basic sign language pointers to passengers on its main app. Passengers will now learn to sign their name, as well as say “hello” and “thank you” to their hearing impaired driver.
Uber riders will be able to access these tips through a special card located right on the main Uber app, located in the messages section. Uber added this feature in support of National Deaf Awareness Month.
Uber’s goal in adding new features like these sign language tips is not only to improve the experience between hard of hearing drivers and passengers but also to recruit more deaf drivers. They previously rolled out features like notifying passengers when their driver is deaf, and disabling phone calls with deaf drivers, instead encouraging passengers to text with any questions. On the driver’s end, Uber added a feature that lights up their phone when passengers request a ride, instead of notifying the through a text message that they might not hear.
"Actions mean more than words," Uber posted to its announcement page about the new ASL pointers. “And we're excited to create new and meaningful ways for people to earn money and connect, regardless of how they communicate. We hope this small update will contribute to a much larger conversation between riders and drivers around the world."