Uber: Access Denied
As we approach the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Uber is making headlines once again. This time, being named in yet another lawsuit for their lack of accessible vehicles.
Uber wants to position itself as a mainstay player in the transportation industry, but how can it do that when it ignores an entire community? Particularly one that often relies on providers for mobility?
Answer: they can’t.
According to the class-action lawsuit, Uber has engaged in “pervasive and ongoing discrimination” against people in wheelchairs. Out of the 58,000 Uber vehicles across New York City, only a few dozen are currently equipped to accommodate wheelchairs. The city, which has made a commitment to have over 50% of taxis wheelchair-accessible by 2020, is “substantially undermined” by Uber’s policy.
In an interview with Reuters, Valerie Joseph of New York, who was born with spina bifida said, “I want to be treated like everybody else.” She joins groups like the Brooklyn Center for Independence for the Disabled, the Taxis for All Campaign and Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York in bringing this lawsuit against Uber.
This lawsuit is important in bringing attention to the large community of people with disabilities that Uber is leaving behind as they try and speed ahead as leaders in transportation.