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"School was a trying period as you stood out and there was a stigma attached to being deaf. It wasn't easy for me to make friends."

Cathy, 51, said: "When I was six years old, I was giving my brother a push on a swing and I noticed my shoe was untied, so I bent down to tie it and the swing hit me on the back of the head. My deafness is the result of that.

Michael now works in McDonald's while Cathy is about to start training as a personal care assistant but both of them remember finding it difficult to enter the workplace after leaving school.

"I remember, one time, I wrote a poem and he put it on display on the wall. It was the first time that had happened and I was so proud. It was the first time I thought that I wasn't stupid after all."

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"She took me to the doctor and that's when it was confirmed.

"That happened to us, when the length of a contract turned out to be two years rather than 18 months.

Cathy and Michael have many shared experiences

"That was when I was eight. Prior to that I had a lot of teachers who thought I was ignoring them.

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The Glasgow couple have been married for 25 years, after meeting while volunteering for St Andrew's Ambulance.

"So it took me a long time to realise that I needed to accept my deafness and, in a sense, be proud of Nike Air Max Design it as well.

Despite being deaf for different reasons, they shared many of the same experiences as they grew up.

"But I later moved schools when my mother moved Air Max 90 Breathe Green

"People came to the school one day with all this equipment and I had to stand with these headphones on in a dark Nike Air Max 90 High Top

"I had to say 'yes' every time I heard a noise, and I was terrified as I didn't know what was going on. Soon I was going to the hospital to be fitted with a hearing aid.

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Michael said: "In my case, going on to do O Grades or Highers was a no no. And I didn't have anyone who could tell me what sort of jobs I could apply for, so I was on my own. I tried to hide my deafness, as Air Max 90 Blue And Pink

But, more immediately, they say there is still a lot of work to do in educating others about the needs of people who are deaf. Michael, 55, said: "The thing about deafness is that it can be hidden. If you don't see the hearing aids then there's often no other way of telling that someone is deaf.

Cathy said: "I got some bullying because I was different and couldn't hear everything that everyone was saying. I tried to fit in but it wasn't easy, and while some people were understanding and became good friends, there were a lot of people who were really cruel.

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"But I found the teachers to be the worst. There was one, in particular, who wasn't very patient and would make me stand out in the corridor as a punishment.

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Deaf Scots couple speak of their struggle to be accepted

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"That's important, and it can cause problems for people who are deaf.

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Michael said: "My deafness came from birth, as my mother had rubella. It wasn't noticed until my mother realised that I wasn't responding to sounds.

OVER the decades, Scots couple Cathy and Michael Doherty have seen big improvements in the way society deals with people who are deaf.

I wanted to be like everyone else. There are a lot of people who do that but it's the wrong thing to do.

Now they're hoping that future generations of people affected by deafness may be given new hope, after a major scientific breakthrough into finding a cure for deafness using stem cell research.

"Hearing aids were big ugly things in those days and I didn't want to wear it. I tried to tell everyone it was a radio but nobody believed me."

"You could go and buy something, such as a mobile phone contract, and sit down to talk about it but miss out on an important detail because you haven't heard it.

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"You're in a different world, so you're having to compensate all the time, and that's why other people from employers, to shop workers, to school teachers, to doctors need to be sympathetic."

"You can go to an interview and not quite pick up on what people are saying and then wonder why you didn't get the job. It's probably because you didn't hear the questions right.

and I met a teacher called Mr McGhee who was different. He was patient and he helped me to catch up.

"Over the course of about a year my mother took me to the doctor, I had my ears syringed and eventually had my hearing checked out.

Cathy, who lost her hearing after an accident when she was six, and Michael, who has been deaf since birth, both have bitter memories of growing up with deafness.

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