People who have a disability do not need to be left out when it comes to entertainment. Technology is one way for people with disabilities to enjoy live entertainment. An ASL interpreter is another way. We are not just talking about any ASL interpreter, we are talking about a concert interpreter. There is a difference and if you are hearing impaired you will want to see why.
You might be wondering – what is a concert for the hearing impaired? Well, this can be a concert prepared exclusively for those with hearing difficulties or it could be a general concert where measures have been put in place to accommodate the needs of those with hearing difficulties.
One way such concerts are organized is by having a large screen display showing the lyrics of the music being played, as it is being played. The helps the impaired keep up and not get lost along the way. Another technique is to display a close-up of the performer(s) to allow the hearing impaired to read their lips. However, the most common approach is to have interpreters interpret the songs live.
Challenges faced in organizing such events
Organizing concerts for the hearing impaired is not easy for a number of reasons. For one, hearing impaired persons do not necessarily want to attend concerts specifically targeting them. They want to attend general events just like everyone else. And why wouldn’t they? So unless it’s an organization or institution dealing with the hearing impaired, organizing such exclusive events is difficult.
Two, finding interpreters who can handle the enormous task of interpreting songs and inculcating the lyrical atmosphere is not easy. There are very few people out there who can do so. And even then, it takes quite some work to plan and prepare.
And of course, accommodating the hearing impaired for concerts or other musical events requires extra finances, be it for the interpreters or the display screens. And these resources may not be available.
Why this is important
A lot has been said and a lot has been done legally to try and accommodate the disabled into all spheres of life. And although much of the emphasis lies in more important things such as public transportation, job opportunities, etc, recreational opportunities such as attending concerts and being able to ‘groove’ with the rest of the crowd matters too. After all, hearing impaired persons love music and have favorite bands/musicians too!
How to find a concert for the hearing impaired
If you are hearing impaired and you would like to find a concert that will accommodate your special needs, there are a few ways to go about it. One, you could contact a concert you’re interested in attending and ask if there are any measures in place to cater to the hearing impaired. If the answer is negative, you could ask if they could put in place such measures. Another option is to contact organizations such as American Sign Language (ASL) and ask if they could inform you of any concerts they know fitting your bill.
Concerts for the hearing impaired are a great milestone. They show that with a little bit of effort and consideration, even those with challenges hearing can enjoy something as beautiful and interactive as music at a concert.
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