There has always been a certain stigma surrounding deaf people in society maybe more in the past than now, many people and some still do even today think that just because the person is deaf or hard of hearing then that makes them slow.
This is not true the only disability a deaf or hard of hearing person has is not being able to hear you speak there is nothing wrong with the persons brain; deaf people have normal intelligence.
Yet very often the hard of hearing and deaf people are judged, take for example two people go for the same job, they both have excellent credentials and exam results, both with similar personalities the only difference between them is one of them is profoundly deaf.
Which of them would get the position? The sad fact is that studies have shown that the hearing person has a much higher chance of getting the position than the deaf person.
Society also attaches certain criteria to deaf or hard of hearing people with labels such as “hearing impaired” as if that describes the person in a nutshell, which can be de moralising.
Many people in today’s society have the strong belief on meeting a deaf person for the first time that the louder they shout then the person with the hearing loss will somehow be able to magically hear them, its humiliating for the deaf and can cause much anguish.
Some people in society regard the deaf as handicapped, someone to be pitied as thought there not independents capable of looking after themselves and leading a good quality of life.
Most deaf people are in fact totally independent and a productive part of the community they live in.
They are well able to join in a conversation and enjoy laughing and talking and joking just as much as the next person, it is the hearing person that puts the strain there who feels awkward and unsure when in the company of the deaf.
There are several ways society can make life a little easier for the hard of hearing and deaf, probably if you were to ask a deaf person they would put at the top of the list just to accept them as a person not a deaf person, true they may need a little patience on your part when first striking up a conversation with them, but its all just a matter of using a little common sense and thoughtfulness.
Don’t be afraid of them and wonder if you will hurt there feelings just ask them outright how much they can hear or if they will have to read your lips as you talk, most deaf people will appreciate your straight forward approach much better than trying to hide any awkwardness you may feel.