I mean I get that they can’t get hear what other people are saying but they should be able to work around this through a combination of gestures and writhing things on paper. This might mean that communication with strangers out in the wasteland might be very hard if they don’t have a good reason to go through the extra effort to communicate with you. But trading with traders should definitely be a possible since they don’t seem like the sort to turn down a consumer just because they are deaf. Especially since customers seem to be in much shorter supply after the cataclysm.
Maybe include a negative modifier to people’s opinion of you if you do communicate with anyone that isn’t a trader to represent the fact that most people would discriminate against you since you are unlikely to be useful to them in this situation being deaf and all. (Who would want to join the group with a deaf person as leader?)
Playing a deaf character currently and it’s definitely a bit of a problem. Writing notes as a way to communicate is a good idea. Wonder how hard it would be to implement. Imagining my deaf mutant holding up a big “don’t shoot me” sign makes me chuckle.
I don’t think I’ve ever played a deaf character intentionally. It’s pretty much always nuke related. 11 nukes in my current characters case knocking down a skyscraper. I checked my save file recently and my end count is 8 digits long. Probably be deaf till second winter.