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Lyft Builds on Relationship With Deaf Community With New Features

The popular ride-hailing service is adding accessibility features intended to improve the experience for drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing. The features are an extension of an existing partnership with the National Association of the Deaf.

Earlier this year, the National Association of the Deaf partnered with Lyft to help drivers more effectively pick up fares—an employment path that has proved attractive to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“Through this partnership, Lyft and NAD will work together to develop further app improvements, grow awareness of economic opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing, and engage policymakers on the importance of ride-sharing access,” the company stated at the time.

Now, Lyft is taking the partnership further with a set of new offerings timed with both National Deaf Awareness Month and the International Week of the Deaf, from September 18-24. The company announced that it will add two features to its platform—one for drivers, one for passengers.

Drivers’ apps will get a flash-on-request feature to make it clear when a new ride is coming in.

“For drivers who have opted into Lyft’s hard-of-hearing accessibility feature, the phone screen and flashlight will flash when they receive an incoming ride request,” the company explained in an emailed news release.

An example of a man saying “thank you” in ASL. (via Lyft)

For passengers, the company is adding a notification that helps them communicate with deaf drivers—a link to a quick tutorial on how to say “hello” or “thank you” in American Sign Language.

The offerings are coming soon and will add to the company’s existing Amp in-car communication tool, which puts up messages in a way that is visible to drivers.

(Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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