'Deaf Drivers Flocking to Lyft'

Carolyn Said, writing for SF Gate:

In San Francisco, dozens of deaf people drive for the app-based ride service Lyft — a phenomenon that started naturally and now is nurtured by the startup with outreach and support groups. Like other ride-service drivers, deaf people say they appreciate setting their own hours and being their own boss. But the work holds extra resonance for people who sometimes confront barriers to traditional employment and can experience social isolation from hearing people.

“Many deaf people are intimidated by careers that require a lot of interpersonal communication,” said Joel Barish, CEO and co-founder of DeafNation.com, which provides video content and special events for deaf and hard of hearing people. Barish, who is deaf, hosted an online video show about San Francisco’s deaf Lyft drivers in October that has had more than 200,000 views — and has helped attract more drivers.

“Lyft is good because technology makes the process really easy,” Barish said. “They accept the fare on the app, pick up the people and they go — there aren’t barriers to communication.”

Interesting piece --- it touches a lot on deaf culture and the deaf community, both of which I was heavily immersed in growing up with deaf parents. Anecdotally speaking, I've long heard that people who are deaf or hard of hearing are better (i.e., safer) drivers because they don't have auditory stimulation to distract them from the road (e.g., talking on the phone).