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Uber's In-App Features Aims More Deaf Drivers

WATCH [CC] - Uber's in-app features create job opportunities for Deaf drivers in Canada and the United States.

TORONTO -- As many as 300 drivers in Toronto, use Uber's in-app features, for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, people. For many Uber users, much of the appeal of the ride-hailing service is that most of the transaction can be done through an app, related the story covers New App Features For Deaf Uber Drivers.

But for one Toronto Uber driver, it's about much more than convenience. Shafiul Hoque is a Deaf driver who says thanks to the company's technology-driven approach, he has his first job in more than a decade.

"I heard that they were willing to hire Deaf drivers," Hoque said in an interview aided by an American Sign Language interpreter. "I found that they were actually very accessible."

Hoque says he still remembers his first pick-up. It went smoothly and "communication was not a problem at all."

He credits a set of in-app features that Uber has rolled out specifically for Deaf and HoH drivers to communicate with riders.

Uber says he's now one of at least 300 drivers in Toronto alone who have been using the in-app features on the job for the past year.

How it works - As soon as a trip is requested, drivers using the in-app features will see a flashing light, in addition to getting the usual audio alert. Passengers also receive a notification, to let them know their Uber driver will be Deaf or HoH.

“If I can do it, so can you.” Larry is Deaf and on a mission to follow his dreams. Find out how partnering with Uber made it possible for him to move to LA and support his family while starting a new career.

Passengers also aren't able to call their driver - they can only text and they'll get an additional prompt to make sure they put in their destination.

"Some people have always asked me how I can communicate with people so easily, but with the technology and with the cellular device, I can do that," Hoque said. "That eliminates barriers for all of us."

For Hoque, the simple additions to the Uber app have opened up a world of opportunity. Not long ago, he didn't think he would ever be able to get a job as a driver.

Life-changing technology - With technological advances, that no longer seems to be a problem. Hoque says he knows as many as 10 other people from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community who are out on the roads driving for Uber... Read More on CBC News.

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