Try these hearing loss-friendly activities and tips for your next spooky get-together.
Are you a fan of spooky season!? Costume parties are a classic way to celebrate — with everyone decked out as fun characters, devouring candy, and having fun with hearing loss-friendly activities for Halloween.
For hosts or guests who have hearing loss, there are a few simple tips you can follow to make sure the party goes off without a hitch:
- Encourage maskless costumes
- Plan accessible activities
- Turn down the music
- Keep rooms well-lit
- Set up a quiet space away from noise
- Advocate for your guests!
Let’s learn about these Halloween party planning tips and hearing loss friendly-activities!
Encourage maskless costumes
You never know who might rely on lip reading to be able to follow conversations. Since Halloween costumes often cover people’s faces with masks or hoods, consider requesting costumes that don’t cover the full face. Just drop a quick sentence on your invitation or group planning discussion like “Remember our guests who use speech reading when planning your costume!” Or, for an adult Halloween party, you could do a fancy masquerade theme with the classic mysterious eye masks that leave mouths uncovered.
Plan accessible activities
To ensure that guests with hearing loss are included, stay away from games that rely on a lot of speech or detailed instructions. Focus on visual-type games that you can adapt to be more hearing loss-friendly. It helps to print simple instructions to hand out before each game.
For instance, if you play a game like Pictionary, give the artist a time limit to draw and have everyone secretly write down their guesses instead of shouting them out. Other hearing loss-friendly activities for Halloween include mixing up “potions” (aka drinks) with unique ingredients, carving or painting pumpkins, holding a costume contest, or guessing how many pieces of candy corn are in a jar.
Turn down the music
Loud music at a party makes it tough to have conversations for everyone! If you must create a fun Halloween playlist, just turn down the volume. Instrumental music can be better than songs with lyrics, so the room isn’t filled up with words while conversations are going on.
Keep rooms well-lit
“Mood lighting” for Halloween is often dim and “spooky”, making it difficult for guests with hearing loss to see people’s faces and the visual cues that help with communication. Instead of turning down the lights, find other ways to keep the room bright: fill rooms with warmly lit lamps, string lights, candlelit pumpkins, and other creative light sources can keep things on-theme and bright enough to see!
Set up a quiet space away from noise
Even if you’re keeping music soft and aiming to be considerate, parties with lots of people tend to get loud eventually. Set aside a room or area as a quiet noise-free oasis where people can go to have one-on-one conversations or simply take a break from listening. Add some thematic décor to keep it fun, but plan to play games and music elsewhere so people can escape for some peace and quiet if needed.
Advocate for your guests!
If you are hosting, take a moment to check with your guests with hearing loss about their communication preferences, then remind others (and yourself!) to follow their guidance. Encourage everyone to speak one person at a time. Enlist a buddy to help with communication throughout the festivities. Your guests will be happy to help make sure everyone feels comfortable and welcome.
Now that you’re ready to welcome your guests with hearing loss-friendly activities for Halloween, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your costume and stock up on the chocolate! Beyond Halloween, check out our other favorite ways to celebrate fall.