How Uber Can Be a Positive Experience for Riders With Autism
People in the world need to get places, whether they’re at home, on business or on vacation. Some people in may not have a car. They may be traveling and don’t rent a car while traveling. Or they can’t drive because they want to have a drink or two. They could take the bus in this situation. They could have someone drive them. If they live in a big city, they could take the subway. However, those may not always be a possibility. So, what is an alternative? They could use Uber.
With Uber, you can request rides from your smartphone and pay a fare using a debit or credit card. I’ve taken Uber a lot over the past couple of years. I’ve taken it in California, Toronto, and even in my hometown sometimes. There’s something I didn’t understand about Uber that I do now — the rating system! People with autism need to understand things about Uber, but Uber drivers also need to realize that people with autism may use Uber.
If you’re requesting a ride, know the actual address including building and street number beforehand so you’re on time. I made that mistake a couple of times. If you’re going to be a few minutes late, contact the driver. Don’t open or close doors too hard or bang on windows. Stay calm on the ride.
I would tell the driver you have autism so they’re aware you have a disability, as Uber drivers are supposed to be understanding of riders with disabilities. They may rate you lower than 5 stars anyway, but they may not if they have more awareness of your disability. Tip the driver at the end of the ride. They will appreciate it.
Be aware of autism when giving rides. Know that these riders may have difficulty knowing where they are or where they’re going sometimes. Try to be calm and understanding with them, and don’t take any personality quirks they might have personally. They want to be accepted as riders just like anyone else. They appreciate you giving them a ride, even if they don’t show it.
Uber should be a great experience for all riders and drivers. However, there needs to be more awareness surrounding riders with disabilities of all kinds.
Getty image by Josie Desmarais.