TRE Legal and the Clark Hunt firm are collaborating with Sidecar and the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts (NFBMA) to ensure blind people can enjoy the ridesharing transportation movement. Ridesharing companies, such as Sidecar, enable passengers to connect with drivers for hire, all from the convenience of an Apple iPhone, iPad, or Android device. A passenger begins using the service by first downloading a free app to their Apple iPhone or other similar mobile device. Once the app is downloaded, the passenger must then link a credit card account and mobile telephone number to the app. The passenger’s mobile device can then be used to hail and communicate with drivers in the network and pay for rides.
This technology is particularly beneficial to blind passengers because it puts access to information about transportation in the palm of their hands. Trip-related information such as the location of the nearest driver, the identity of the driver, the cost of the ride, payment options, electronic receipts and other innovative features can now be accessed through a smart phone equipped with text-to-speech and refreshable braille. In many traditional taxicabs, similar information would not be independently available to a blind passenger in an accessible format.
As noted in the press release, Sidecar should be commended for becoming the first ridesharing service to publically commit to accessibility through this Collaboration Agreement with NFBMA. Technology can provide unprecedented access to information and integration for disabled people. Applaud Sidecar for contributing to a more accessible and inclusive society.