I had the pleasure of interviewing Davidi, the Accessibility Operations Manager at Uber, and discussed his experiences working with Lingoing and visiting the monthly held d/Deaf forums for Uber partners that we helped process to gain their full license.
1. What do you do for work?
I work in the ‘Uber for Everyone’ team – which focuses on two main areas: We look after 1) Electric vehicles and 2) Accessibility, including products such as uberACCESS and uberASSIST. This is also where our partnership with Lingoing fits, working together to achieve our joint aim to make the platform available for anyone wanting to join Uber as a partner-driver. Lingoing is key to this, making the process easier for d/Deaf individuals to get licensed and join the platform.
2. Have these experiences made you more deaf aware?
Absolutely! Speaking with Liz has given me an insight into the difficulties that drivers may face when processes are not created with deaf people in mind – small things you wouldn’t necessarily have thought about. It was also interesting to see sign communication with a large group in action, and to see the differences between BSL and ASL. Overall, the Deaf forum was extremely interesting.
3. How did you get in contact with Lingoing?
I joined the team after contact had already been made with Lingoing … My main contact has been with Liz, who has been invaluable in introducing me to this space – through Lingoing Liz and Fateha have been extremely effective at creating a clear and navigable path for the d/Deaf partner licensing and on-boarding processes and highlighting potential improvements for the app in general.
4. What experiences have you gained from the deaf forum?
Some issues came up in the forum – issues that highlight the specific challenges facing d/Deaf partner-drivers and which perhaps the Uber team hadn’t focussed on previously. For example, what happens if a deaf partner-driver picks up a blind rider? What if the rider wants to make a stop? There were also a lot of more general questions about employment, joining a new platform and the practical steps required. I also had a few questions of my own! Overall it was a great opportunity for deaf partners to get together and share their experiences with us but, more importantly, each other.
5. Did you like the feedback?
Fantastic! It was an enlightening experience for our team and hope we were able to contribute too.
Working with Uber has been an amazing experience for Lingoing as further barriers have been broken down due to the onset of allowing Deaf drivers onto the road and we hope our work with Uber continues to be a great success with establishing more job prospects for deaf people! Uber should be commended for their efforts in making this possible.