CLARITY HEARING SOLUTIONS
How to make your wedding hearing loss friendly.
People often say that deafness usually becomes evident after marriage… but we tend to find it is selective hearing that manifests itself. But as much as we can joke about not listening to your spouse, on your big day it’s important to ensure everyone has the best experience possible.
In Australia it is estimated that 17% of the population suffers from some sort of hearing loss. This means if you have a guest list of 200 people, you should expect 34 of those guests to have difficulty hearing. This percentage increases as your guests get older, so if you have a large number of older guests there may be more people with hearing issues present. So how can you ensure you provide the best experience of your wedding to all the guests coming along to witness this celebration?
While we usually don’t think about people with hearing loss needing extra attention — after all they have hearing aids or other assistive devices — we need to understand that weddings usually take place in environments quite different from those your guests normally frequent. And this means a huge difference in sound experience due to different reverberation, background noise, echo etc.
This means there are several things you can do to assist these people access your ceremony (and the Best Man’s speech) as best as possible.
Now it must be made clear that hearing loss differs from person to person and Uncle Ben with age related hearing loss has different needs to 7-year-old Susan with a Cochlear implant. This means that one solution may not be the right one for everyone. Here are some of the things you can do to make your wedding more accessible for your guests with hearing loss:
• Provide a printed copy of the ceremony to guests or those who request it. You may even ask this when you confirm things like dietary requirements.
• Offer to have FM microphones or Bluetooth streaming devices placed near the action during the ceremony or speeches. Or even set up a hearing loop for people to tap into. These devices can stream sound directly to hearing aids making it the best solution for people with devices to hear.
• When doing your table plan try and place those with hearing loss closer to the front where possible.
• Keep centrepieces low. While they look great tall centrepieces block people’s view of the person who is talking impacting the ability to use lip reading to help decipher speech and conversation.
• Instruct speakers (and yourselves) to speak up loudly when reciting vows or giving speeches. A 101 of speech giving it is often the one people have the most difficulty with in situations like this.
• Ensure there is good lighting. People will supplement their hearing by lip reading to help discern what is being said. Make sure people can clearly see the people speaking.
• Lastly, if a family member or friend struggles with hearing loss but hasn’t yet had it addressed, this may be the catalyst needed to help them deal with it. Encouraging them to get a professional hearing test will allow them to enjoy your wedding to its fullest.
Contact a fully qualified audiologist today to get a comprehensive assessment and a complete list of options today.
Clarity Hearing Solutions
266 Charters Towers Road Hermit Park
60 N Beck Drive Condon
4779 1566 or 1300 CLARITY