Cab aggregator Uber has a program through which people with disabilities can avail rides easily. However, there are people who think that the company’s initiatives for people with special needs are just not enough. Two people who use wheelchairs have filed a lawsuit against the company claiming that it is not doing as much as it should for makings its vehicles accessible to the differently-abled and in doing so, is violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Disabled Persons Act and California’s unfair competition law.
The two have claimed that they have found themselves unable to use Uber because company doesn’t allow them to request cars that are specifically accessible to people with Wheelchairs. This case is associated with the use of the application in Jackson, Mississippi.
According to the lawsuit:
As a result, persons with disabilities in Jackson have no ability to call a wheelchair accessible vehicle or a specially trained driver through the Uber app. Even if there are drivers on the road who have such a vehicle or training, there is no way for Jackson users with a disability to find a trained driver or accessible vehicle through the app.
Uber already has a program that seeks to cater specifically to people with disabilities. Called Uber Access, the program was launched back in 2014 and sought to ease the process of hailing cabs through UberASSIST and UberWAV. Under these programs, a wheelchair compatible car would come over and pick them up. However, Access is not available everywhere and Jackson happens to be an area where it isn’t available yet.
Of course, Uber will not have any issues in ensuring that these cars are available everywhere however, doing so depends upon how fast the company can enter into partnerships with commercial providers that offer special cars. The company’s page that deals with accessibility states that:
We are piloting several models in various cities across the country to determine which wheelchair accessible vehicle options best meet the needs of our riders and driver-partners. These pilots range from making our technology available to wheelchair accessible taxis to providing wheelchair accessible options through partnerships with commercial providers