Russia: Why deaf people drive taxis
“A decent income”: One of the reasons why drivers who are hard of hearing work as taxi drivers
Yandex Go has surveyed more than 500 drivers/partners with hearing difficulties to find out the main advantages of being a taxi driver.
For around 70% of deaf and hard of hearing drivers this was their first job, with most choosing this profession for a number of reasons: a decent income, a flexible working schedule and an occupation where there are no communication barriers.
Around 80% of those asked believe that being a taxi driver has enabled them to acquire new knowledge and skills. For example, some are planning to open their own car-related business, a repair shop or taxi company. Nearly half of them think that working as a taxi driver will help them earn enough capital to start their own business, as well as being able to supplement their income through courier deliveries.
Seventy-two percent of deaf and hard of hearing drivers say that having a flexible work schedule is one of the advantages of the profession as it provides an opportunity to combine work with education, leisure activities or hobbies.
“More than 1,800 deaf or hard of hearing drivers in Russia are connected to Yandex Go where we aim to create an accessible environment for them. For example, our app offers an opportunity to chat to the driver while the car is stationary. The system alerts a customer that a hard of hearing driver is on their way and disables the call function. In this way, the customer and the driver can find a common language”, said Svetlana Voronina, Head of Social Projects at Yandex Go.
According to the All-Russian Society for the Deaf around 13 million Russians have hearing problems, 300,000 of whom are deaf, with no more than 30% of able-bodied adults in this social group in employment. Those drivers interviewed by Yandex Go spoke of the difficulties in finding a job with a reasonable level of income because of their disability.