Effectively communicating with persons from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community may prove to be more difficult than anticipated for the Hearing because of obvious barriers to communication.
Persons from the Deaf community have various needs that facilitate how they communicate with others. Once these needs (which are usually quite simple and basic) are met, the communication process flows more smoothly.
To add context, it helps to have a basic understanding of what it means to be deaf and hard of hearing.
To be deaf is to have very little or no functional hearing and a deaf person often uses sign language to communicate while being hard of hearing means that there is mild to moderate hearing loss. Persons who are hard of hearing may communicate through sign language, spoken language or both.