Driven: The Story of a Deaf Chauffeur in NYC
How groundbreaking taxi technology is giving deaf Uber and Lyft drivers like Yuriy Grinman the keys to a new life.
Photo by Dorian Geiger
On a sunny autumn afternoon in the grungy, graffiti-splattered Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, Morgan Wang, a mobile game marketing consultant, is watching the Uber car she recently hailed pull up in front of her apartment building.
Her driver, a short and bespectacled middle-aged man, exits the vehicle and eagerly takes Wang’s suitcase, loading it in the back of his metallic charcoal Honda CR-V. Wearing a striped, grey collared shirt, he smiles and gestures towards the vehicle, all while not making a peep.
Wang, a 23-year-old California native, takes the back seat and is handed a laminated piece of paper. Dismay spreads across her face, her eyes absorbing the note’s message: her driver is deaf.
“Definitely something you don’t see every day,” she says. “How do deaf people drive? It’s cool that they can make a living that way — in one of the most chaotic cities.”
The driver is Yuriy Grinman, a 56-year-old Ukrainian immigrant…