Tips for Communicating with Hearing Riders

I’m back! 2017 hasn’t been too great a year, with so many natural disasters and too many violent situations around the world. We must stay positive, help each other, and pray for all of us.

I’d like to talk briefly on how I, as a Lyft and Uber driver, communicate with hearing riders. It isn’t as hard as you’d think; all it takes is some flexibility and proactivity. Just like any other Lyft or Uber driver, my goal is to make the riders feel comfortable.  As soon as a rider hops in  my car, I give them a bottle of water, and tell them to feel free to play their favorite music. And of course, they can turn it up as loud as they want!

I also downloaded a great app, Sorenson Buzzcards (available for iPhone or Android), which allows me to write notes or save oft-used messages; another great app for communication is Cardzilla, which was created by a Deaf guy. I also store a few jokes on my phone that I can share with riders to help break the ice. This is easily done when not driving, such as waiting at a red light. I also use speech-to-text apps so that riders can speak to me. When I’m not driving, I can respond by texting back, or I can gesture a response.

Another idea is making a video similar to this. Keep in mind that ASL is a separate language from English with its own grammar/syntax and vocabulary. It’s a great language to learn — if you’re an ASL student, you could even get to practice your ASL skills with a Deaf Uber or Lyft driver!  I hope you enjoy the video. You can also visit the Drive or Ride page.  (Facebook— be sure to click LIKE!).

In the new year, I’ll be writing about Deaf entrepreneurs being on the rise. Meanwhile, it’s time to go shopping — happy holidays to you all!


Robb, Patches, & Coco

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