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New York News •
By Nathan Pemberton
November 2, 2015

After using ride-share service Lyft to catch a lift back to her home in a San Fransisco suburb, a 28-year-old woman became convinced, when the driver detoured from the usual route and refused to acknowledge her increasingly strained pleas to stop the car, that she was being kidnapped. The woman proceeded to jump out of the (unlocked) passenger door, at a stoplight, breaking her ankle as she ran off to alert the police, SFGate reports.

The alleged kidnapper, turns out, was deaf. Lyft, which cultivates a more friendly, down-home reputation than Uber, is known for being a place for hearing-impaired people to find work, since they don't have to talk on the phone.

Read More . . . Deaf Lyft Driver


Pin Lu Was an Accountant Before Ferrying Passengers; ‘Deaf People Are Good Drivers Because They Focus and Pay Attention’

Wall Street Journal
Feb. 1 , 2015

In many ways, Pin Lu is a typical UberX driver.

He uses his own car, complete with a crocheted owl dangling from the rearview mirror, to ferry passengers who hail him via the popular ride-sharing app.

He often works long hours, saving to start his own business someday.

And he takes pride in his user ratings, saying he has earned 4.82 out of a possible 5 stars.

But when New Yorkers step into Mr. Lu’s green 2011 Honda Accord, many are surprised to be handed a note asking them to type a destination into the GPS.

Mr. Lu, the note explains, is deaf.

“Let me know if you have a preferred route by using your hand motion as direction,” it reads. “If you have any questions, knock your hand to my shoulder. Write/type note to me as communication.”

Uber Technologies Inc. estimates it has about 40 deaf “driver-partners” across the U.S. and predicts that number is likely to grow as the company expands into new markets.

Mr. Lu, a spokeswoman said, is one of its first in the New York area.

Mr. Lu, 29 years old, was born without hearing in Fuzhou, China, and immigrated to Queens with his family when he was 10.

After earning an accounting degree from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011, he spent about two years doing accounting work for the Defense Department in Rome, N.Y., but he grew tired of small-town life “in the middle of nowhere,” he says.

Read Article and Photo's . . .
By Carolyn Said
January 1, 2015

Kellye Rogers scrambled into the front seat of her Lyft ride on a rainy San Francisco night. The driver, Andrew Kucharski, pointed to his ear, shook his head and mouthed the words “I’m deaf.”

She lit up. “I know some signing,” she said aloud, as she signed the words. Kucharski flashed a big grin and the two chatted enthusiastically in American Sign Language en route to Restoration Hardware.

“So driving for Lyft works well with being deaf?” Rogers asked.

He gave a thumbs-up and signed, “I’m happy; I’m free. I meet friendly people.”

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.

Read entire Article and see Pictures

From, 2/4/2013

720px-US-FMCSA-Logo.svgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted the first exemption to rules for interstate commercial drivers when it comes to hearing standards.

Forty individuals received permission to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce effective last Friday. It’s good for two years and may be renewed.

The request was made of the agency last May, with comments taken until the end of July. FMCSA received 570 responses.

Several of the applicants had previous experience driving interstate and became unable to pass the required hearing test, while others had been involved in intrastate commerce, were bus drivers, had driven smaller commercial vehicles or were looking to become first-time truckers.

In announcing its decisions, the FMCSA said “granting exemptions for these CMV (commercial motor vehicle) drivers will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety maintained without the exemptions.

Current FMCSA standards for hearing were adopted more than 40 years ago.

The applicants received assistance from the National Association of the Deaf. The association cited and FMCSA Medical Review Board study from 2008 that examined the relationship between hearing loss and crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers, as well as evidence from studies of the private bus driver license holder population, saying these studies do not support the contention that individuals with hearing impairment are at an increased risk for crash.

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