How to Make Religious Celebrations Hard of Hearing Friendly

How to Make Religious Celebrations Hard of Hearing Friendly November 22, 2022

Everyone has the right to feel comfortable and included in religious celebrations, regardless of their faith or the occasion. Those who are hard of hearing will naturally struggle to keep up with celebrations, and ceremonies of every shape and size should still factor this into their event planning procedures. While it is a somewhat invisible disability, hearing loss is still one that shapes the lives of those afflicted. Yet, the world moves towards inclusivity more and more, and religious celebrations are no exception. The following advice focuses on how to make religious celebrations hard of hearing friendly.

Conduct Market Research on the Deaf Experience

You never know the right answer if you don’t ask the right question. When it comes to enabling and empowering the hard of hearing in a religious setting, it is important for religious leaders and those in charge of events that might occur to include market research into the overall arc. If this isn’t carried out, there is no possible way to understand what this part of the community might need, how you can support them, or what people need to feel included. This could take the shape of focus groups or questionnaires sent out to households involved in the celebrations.

Raise Awareness

There are lots of effective methods to raise awareness about hearing impairment. The options below are easy to implement, cost-effective, and accessible to a wide demographic.

  • Highlight how easy it is to do an online hearing test like this one https://www.phonak.com/us/en/online-hearing-test.html
  • Encourage those with hearing issues to be open and not shy away from it.
  • Raise funds for the hard of hearing by running a community event.
  • Tell people the facts.
  • Give instructive training to celebration leaders and speakers on the optimum positioning for enabling or supporting lip reading.

Provide Readable Materials

If there are ever important announcements or the religious celebration includes a spoken service, make these into a readable format. That way, those who struggle with their hearing are able to follow at their own pace. This will not only make them feel as included as everyone else, but it will also ensure that they don’t miss anything essential and are able to join in to the fullest extent well.

  • Research the best fonts for readability ease.
  • Print out well in advance and store in a safe place.
  • Don’t forget to highlight their existence prior to the celebration.
  • Don’t miss out on any essential information.

Plan in Advance as Far as Possible

Planning for an event is always essential. Even if there turns out to be no attendees with disabilities like hearing problems, it is still important to factor it in. Think about how many people might appreciate a written version of spoken events, where optimum seating might be, and consider where leaders are facing to facilitate lip reading if appropriate.

Look at Funding

There are various charities supporting the hard of hearing. Often, grant schemes are run to support community engagement, of which religious celebrations are a part. Regardless of the event occasion, if there is a valid reason to ask for support then a charity will consider your application if you find the right one.

Be Flexible

Assisting and empowering disabilities is a part of life. Those in a position of responsibility such as an official religious figure should always be aware of the trials and tribulations that their congregation may suffer with. Knowing is half of the battle, and is the easiest way to pick a direct course of action.

Consider Sign Language Translators

This is another area where prior research is essential. Not everyone who is deaf or suffers from hearing loss is versed in sign language. Therefore, before you hire a translator for the religious event, check first if there is value in doing so. If there is, then this is a great way to enable those who are hard of hearing to remain engaged with the service or special event.

LED Screens

LED screens require a bigger budget, but they are one of those assets that could be bid for through charity grants. The idea is that any speech or information would be displayed on the screen in an easy-to-follow format, to improve comfort levels all around. Of course, this does require a little tech knowledge and a pot of funding to implement. Arguably, it is an investment worth exploring to help the hearing impaired be included.

Assistive Listening Devices

Some hard of hearing people find use in assistive listening devices like specialist headphones and audio descriptions. These are useful tools for when the hearing loss is not absolute.

Conclusion

There are lots of approaches to take when considering how to make religious celebrations hard of hearing friendly. It is at the discretion of each event planner and religious guide to decide which route to take. However, this should be led wholly by the attendees who suffer from hearing issues.

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