Back in 2015, Uber added some features for drivers who were deaf and hard of hearing, including visual notifications of impending rides. Today, as a wrap-up for National Deaf Awareness Month, Uber has updated its main app to teach riders how to sign basic phrases like "hello" and "thank you" for drivers with hearing impairments.
When you're using the Uber app to hail a ride, you'll now see a special card in your feed. Tapping it will show you some screens where you can select the phrases you want to learn. You can even learn how to spell out your name. Once you do so, you'll get a gif with the words you typed in so you can spell them out in American Sign Language. It seems like a great way to foster positive interactions with drivers who experience hearing impairments.
Uber isn't the only ride sharing company to focus on drivers who are deaf. Lyft's dashboard display was updated in April to support accessibility. The gadget was also just updated with a new "flash-on request" for Lyft drivers that will light up their sign along with their phone's screen and flash.
"Actions mean more than words," writes Uber on its announcement page, "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."