Did you know that, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.” If you’re planning a wedding, this is an especially important fact to know, as you’ll need to be mindful that probably several guests in attendance experience this condition. Below we review how to plan a hearing loss friendly wedding.
Consider Your Seating Chart
For the ceremony, make sure you reserve seating for people with hearing loss close to where you, your future spouse and your officiant are standing so that they’ll be able to hear what’s going on. If they’re close enough, they can even lipread to follow along. In addition, make sure it’s clear to these guests that the reserved seats are for them.
During the reception, you can also seat them near where the speeches will be made so they can hear them well.
Use Microphones & Speakers
Not only will microphones and speakers help all your guests hear what’s going on, they’ll be especially helpful for those with hearing loss. Note, however, you should keep the volume at a reasonable level so that nobody experiences auditory overload.
Ask the Venue About Accommodations
Some venues offer certain accommodations for people with hearing loss. For example, loop systems help people with hearing aids that have t-coils. These work by enabling sound to be transmitted directly to their hearing aids. You can also ask your venue if they have preferred vendors or partners that offer hearing loss accommodations; they may even be able to recommend an ASL interpreter.
For spoken parts of the ceremony or reception, like songs, verses, vows or speeches, that are prepared in advance, give your guests who need it a pamphlet that includes the scripts. This way, they’ll be able to follow along without missing anything.
Create Quiet Spaces
We also recommend creating quiet spaces for people who have hearing loss, so they can take listening breaks or converse more easily one-on-one. Take the time to pull them aside to have a personal conversation at some point during the wedding.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Sound Advice today.