Uber has rolled out an update to its iOS app that enables riders to learn basic sign language on the go so they can communicate better with deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers.
Uber announced the new feature in a post
on its website, where it said the ride-hailing service had "thousands" of deaf drivers in the United States alone, and that the update was in support of National Deaf Awareness Month.
Riders will see a special card in the Uber feed. Once they tap it, they'll be taken to a page where they can select the basics, like "Hello" and "Thank You," or spell out their name. They'll then be given a GIF with the word(s) in ASL. That way, they can better communicate with their Deaf or Hard of Hearing driver, because signing "Thank You" or "Hello" in ASL can go a long way.
Uber has actually included interface features for its hard of hearing drivers for the last couple of years, such as flashing screens for ride requests instead of audible notifications, and allowing drivers to receive texts rather than calls. But the latest feature, which currently only works in the U.S., will surely come as a welcome addition.
The Uber app
is a free download for iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link