I first joined Lyft as a driver in 2013, I think there were only five of us who were deaf at the time. Soon after that, the number of deaf
Lyft drivers increased! Of course, there was a rough beginning in terms of communicating with the riders. Some of the riders had never met a deaf person before so some of them thought deaf people shouldn’t drive. Yet at the same time, with the increasing number of deaf drivers, we were able to share feedback to do something simple with a click of a button to notify riders their driver was deaf. Lyft took our input and developed something. It was much easier after that! Hello, my name is Ramadon Furgon
and I work with Lyft as a driver. I’m from here, San Francisco, born and raised. I was mainstreamed in public school from kindergarten until middle school. After that, I went to the California School for the Deaf
in Fremont. When people sit in the backseat of your car, it’s harder to communicate with them but because the app already told them I’m deaf, I feel at ease. As soon as they get in, it’s go time. I enjoy it, it’s easy and you’re not required to put much effort in communicating with your riders. Sometimes, I start with simply writing down, “how are you?” or give them a fistbump. Most of my riders are going to work, taking personal or business rides — people use Lyft for many reasons. First, I drop my kids off at school then get some driving hours logged in, during the mornings and afternoons. Whenever I’m ready, I just change my status to “ON.” I usually take my riders home to work or
from work to home. On the weekends, I usually take my riders to the clubs! No one drives drunk and people can
leave their cars at home. I pick them up and drop them off at the clubs. It saves their time and it’s safer. Grab the opportunity to sign up as a ride-share driver, most college students do this as an extra source of money, like a side job. The ride-share apps do a background check to make sure you have a clean background. They check if you have any DUI charges. They’re really strict with this and have policies to ensure the safety of the drivers and riders. You can get started by downloading the app, either Lyft or Uber, whichever one you prefer — or even both! You can work for both at different times. You don’t need a schedule, you’re on your own — you’re your own boss! The number one thing to do is to be friendly! Be deaf-friendly and ask how they’re doing. They love learning some basic signs like
“thank you” and “you’re welcome.” Just keep it simple and they will be comfortable
and friendly around you!