Workplace Disability Etiquette
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
Deaf people are an especially dramatic emerging population, because there are now ways for them to communicate that did not exist before the Internet and wireless technologies came along.
Email obviously allows Deaf people to communicate with just about everyone, now. When handheld devices such as the Blackberry came along, they were an instant and huge hit in the Deaf community.
The telephone had long been limited in its value, usable only by people who had a TTY-TDD device on each end of the phone line for typing notes to each other (early texting!). Now, by virture of Section 508, the Telecommunications Act, each state provides relay services whereby a deaf person can TTY-TDD with an operator who will voice for them to any call recipient on the other end. It's even possible now for a Deaf person to make a video link with an operator and communicate using American Sign Language (ASL).
Another thing to keep in mind: a Deaf person has a more difficult task in learning to spell if they don't have sounds to associate with letters. Phonics is how most of us learn spelling, so a Deaf person has to go about it differently and it can take a little longer than the norm. Weak spelling is not a reflection of intelligence.