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News & Press: Colorado Technology Industry

Uber Colorado partners with Blind Institute to provide free rides to impaired job seekers

Friday, July 08, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Uber_logoUSEDENVER -- The Blind Institute of Technology  (BIT) and Uber Colorado  today announced an initiative to help qualified blind and visually impaired people travel to job interviews.

Under the agreement, a tap of the Uber app will help remove the employment barrier of getting to job interviews for blind and visually impaired BIT candidates in Colorado. Uber will provide two free rides (up to $25) to and from job interviews. 

University of Denver graduate Mike Kempunderstands firsthand the value the service will provide. When he was interviewing for jobs, he often spent more than a day organizing his travel to an interview.

Now a consultant for Denver's Breo Solutions, Kemp is one of an estimated 22.5 million Americans 18 and older who are blind or visually impaired (BVI), according to the 2014 National Health Interview Survey.

Unlike most job seekers, Kemp couldn't drive himself to an interview, which meant he had to spend extra time learning and memorizing bus routes and times. In order to ensure he arrived on time the day of his interview, Kemp often had to practice his route the day before to determine how long the journey would take.

The difficulty of the process led him to approach the Blind Institute of Technology about creating a program to help others with transportation to employment opportunities.

"Statistics show that the unemployment and underemployment rate among blind and visually impaired Americans is a staggering 80 percent," said Mike Hess, founder and executive director of the Blind Institute of Technology.

"BIT appreciates Uber's support in helping us solve this national diversity and inclusion epidemic so all motivated and qualified BVI candidates receive the same opportunities for employment as everyone else striving to achieve their career aspirations."

"We're excited to team with the Blind Institute of Technology and connect the population they serve with a convenient and reliable transportation option," said Dave Britton, Uber Colorado GM.

"Uber's mission is to make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone, and this agreement is another example of how we are working to make that mission a reality."

"For the BVI community, daily transportation can be a significant barrier to their employment and success at work," Hess added.

"A commute to a job interview or work can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour longer for BVI individuals and that doesn't include the time it takes to plan ahead to learn public transit routes, scheduled and actual travel time."

The partnership with Uber represents a central and important aspect of BIT's new Eyes on the Road program, which is dedicated to making transportation for BVI individuals -- from their initial job interview to their daily commute to work -- easy, convenient, affordable and stress-free.

To get involved or for more information about BIT's Eyes on the Road program, email eyesontheroad@blindinstituteoftechnology.org


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