Full and equal access to transportation, public buildings, and places of employment is key for persons with disabilities. Without access to these public services, persons with disabilities live greatly circumscribed lives. So, it’s no surprise that setting up and running a company that provides transportation services might be a little more complicated than simply asking people to “give rides” in their cars to their friends and neighbors. Uber is running into yet more problems as it’s being sued for failing to provide equal access to its services for persons with disabilities.
Plaintiff Elizabeth Ramos, who uses a motorized wheelchair, calls Uber’s claim to providing equal access “a paltry smokescreen.” She’s suing Uber in a Brooklyn Court for failing to provide equal services and access to persons with disabilities.
“Everything that makes Uber what it is, everything that makes it attractive to any customer – the fact that it’s fast, convenient and on demand – you just don’t get that,” Ramos’ attorney Stan Sharovskiy said. “She tried to go ahead and get UberWAV and they said, sorry not available. Is any other able-bodied customer going to get that treatment? Absolutely not.”
As someone who has represented persons with disabilities for more than fifteen years, I applaud Ms. Ramos’s courage and efforts to make public spaces and accommodations more usable and accessible. We all know, you can’t work if you can’t get to work. Good luck to her.
Read more about Ms. Ramos in coverage by the New York Daily News. If you’re a Michigander with a disability facing discrimination at work or in public accommodations, we’d like to help you.