Use these hearing loss communication tips for the holidays to make every gathering a festive, accessible time for everyone.
As the holidays approach, many families and friend groups will be gathering in person for the first time in over a year. Whether your party is a small gathering between friends or a large family reunion, every host can benefit from learning how to make their event accessible and enjoyable for people with hearing loss!
Here are a few of our hearing loss communication tips for the holidays:
- Set up a quiet side room
- Print instructions for party games
- Keep competing sounds at a low volume
- Keep the lights bright
- Engage with everyone
- Use sound amplification
With these simple tips, you can ensure that activities and the overall party accommodate everyone, regardless of hearing ability. Read on to dive deeper into each tip!
Set up a quiet side room
The hustle and bustle of large gatherings can make it challenging to understand people, even when they’re close to you. Consider having a side room or portion of a room designated as a quieter space, with no music and less background noise. Many people prefer a calmer oasis to talk in at a big party, not just people with hearing loss, so everyone will appreciate this idea!
Print instructions for party games
If you’re planning on having games or activities at your holiday party, print out instructions, so people have another way to learn the rules. It is helpful to have instructions on paper so that everyone doesn’t have to listen to you explain the game above the noise of the crowd. Instead, they can consult their printed instructions to quickly get on the same page as everyone else in the room.
Keep competing sounds at a low volume
Often, parties have loud music playing in the background, causing people to speak even louder to each other to be heard. This atmosphere, understandably, is less than ideal for people with hearing loss. If you keep the music turned down low, you can still set a fun atmosphere without requiring people to converse in a louder volume or not understand each other.
Keep the lights bright
Low lighting might help set the mood for a party, but it’s not helpful for guests with hearing loss who might speech read when talking with others. You don’t need to have your lights up at their brightest setting, but consider adding in additional lighting options (like holiday string lights!), so everyone can see clearly.
Engage with everyone
People with hearing loss can often feel isolated if they feel as if they can’t communicate easily with others. A great holiday party host can prevent this from happening by keeping all of their guests engaged! Try out fun ice breakers to get everyone acquainted, or personally introduce guests who might not know each other and help everyone feel comfortable.
Use sound amplification
If you’re hosting a large event where you’ll need to make announcements to the crowd or plan on having people give speeches, a microphone and speakers are a must! They’ll help you communicate clearly so that everyone can hear without you needing to strain your voice.
Check out our blog for more hearing loss communication tips for the holidays!