[Nfbnet-members-list] Lyft, National Federation of the Blind Announce Accessibility Improvements for Riders Who Travel with Service Animals

National Federation of the Blind webmaster at nfb.org
Mon Apr 3 21:50:37 UTC 2017


Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

Scott Coriell
(802) 353-1449
<mailto:scoriell at lyft.com>scoriell at lyft.com

Lyft and the National Federation of the Blind Announce Comprehensive 
Accessibility Improvements for Lyft Riders Who Travel with Service Animals

Lyft and the National Federation of the Blind today announced a 
collaborative effort to ensure reliable and equal service to 
individuals who are blind and use service animals. Lyft's affirmative 
and proactive efforts will help ensure its convenient and affordable 
transportation services are available to riders who are blind and use 
service animals across the United States.

As part of that effort, Lyft today kicked off the company's first 
Service Animal Month, which is part of a multi-pronged initiative to 
ensure that all individuals with disabilities who travel with service 
animals on the Lyft platform can fully enjoy the benefits of 
connecting with drivers through the Lyft app.

Lyft has also announced a new policy which clarifies that every Lyft 
rider who has a service animal must be accommodated, regardless of a 
driver's preferences or circumstances. Lyft drivers who don't comply 
with the new policy may face immediate and permanent deactivation 
from the platform.  Lyft is also committing to a number of driver 
education initiatives that are aimed squarely at raising awareness of 
the new service animal policy amongst its driver community.  Drivers 
will be educated about the new service animal policy through videos, 
announcements, and other outreach, that will begin as soon as a 
driver is approved to perform rides, and will continue throughout the 
driver's business relationship with Lyft. Lyft is also working to 
improve customer service for blind riders.

Lucy Greco, Accessibility Evangelist for UC Berkeley said "I am so 
pleased that Lyft was willing to work with us to improve access for 
riders with service animals.  I look forward to using Lyft once the 
changes are in place."

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, 
said: "Companies like Lyft are empowering blind people to live the 
lives we want by providing fast, convenient and affordable 
transportation. This empowerment can only be real and complete, 
however, if all blind people, including those who use guide dogs, are 
able to access the service when and where they need it, without fear 
that they will be refused service. My wife Melissa uses a guide dog, 
and consequently our family has occasionally experienced the refusal 
of transportation services, which violates the legal and civil rights 
of the blind and people with disabilities. The National Federation of 
the Blind applauds Lyft's commitment to improve its service to guide 
dog users, and we look forward to working with Lyft to ensure that 
its efforts to do so are meaningful and effective."

Laura Copeland, Lyft's Head of Community said, "Lyft is excited to 
partner with the NFB to confirm its commitment that everyone who 
requests a ride through the Lyft app is provided with equal service, 
regardless of whether the rider is accompanied by a service 
animal.  At Lyft, we are committed to creating a community where 
everyone feels welcome, comfortable, and respected.  Drivers should 
always say yes when it comes to transporting riders with service animals."

Lyft is implementing these changes pursuant to an agreement with the 
National Federation of the Blind (NFB), and Lucy Greco and Lynda 
Johnson, who both travel with guide dogs. NFB, Ms. Greco, and Ms. 
Johnson were represented by Michael Bien, Gay C. Grunfeld and Michael 
Nunez of Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, Mary-Lee K. Smith and 
Julia Marks of Disability Rights Advocates, and Timothy Elder of the 
TRE Legal Practice, in the negotiations that led to these changes.


About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the 
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise 
the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create 
obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life 
you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

About Lyft

Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to 
improve people's lives with the world's best transportation. Lyft is 
the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S and is available in 
more than 300 cities. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for 
its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting 
positive change for the future of our cities.

About the TRE Legal Practice

TRE Legal is a law firm focusing on the rights of blind people, 
including the right to independently access technology-based 
services.  For more information, visit 

About Disability Rights Advocates

DRA is the leading nonprofit disability rights legal center advancing 
equal rights and opportunities for people with all types of 
disabilities nationwide. For more information, visit 
or contact Julia Marks, <mailto:jmarks at dralegal.org>jmarks at dralegal.org.

About Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP is a law firm that has extensive 
experience representing people with disabilities in litigation 
against public and private entities. For more information, visit 
or contact Michael Nunez, <mailto:mnunez at rbgg.com>mnunez at rbgg.com.
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
United States
(410) 659-9314 

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