When planning a funeral service, it is important to keep family members who have hearing disabilities in mind. They deserve to have a comfortable space where they can mourn the loss of a loved one. Their hearing disability should not be a barrier when attending a service at your funeral home.
There are many things funeral directors can do to cater to these family members’ needs. By providing quality care, family members with hearing disabilities can feel at ease and properly grieve.
Provide an Interpreter
This is a must when serving family members who communicate with sign language. It is not sufficient to hire someone who simply knows sign language. You need to hire someone who is a trained interpreter to ensure they are accurately interpreting the funeral service.
Talk to the family before hiring an interpreter to know their preferences and needs. Ask the family if they know of an interpreter. They may have someone they have hired in the past that they trust to do a good job.
Be a Clear Communicator
Prior to starting the funeral service, make sure any guests with hearing disabilities are aware that the service is about to begin. Make it clear when transitions are occurring, so nobody gets left behind. Making the order of events clear to everyone will help avoid any confusion.
Save a Seat in the Front Row
To make sure anyone with hearing disabilities can either better hear the service or see the interpreter, seat them in the front. Plan this ahead of time so you do not have to ask other guests to move seats.
Use Visual Aids
PowerPoints and slideshows with ample images and text are helpful for these family members. Make sure they have plenty of time to view the visuals before the speaker continues talking. If too much is going on, they won’t be able to pay attention to the interpreter and could miss some visuals.
Videos are useful too, however, remember to add closed captioning.
Provide Transcripts of the Eulogies
After the service, ask any speakers if you can get a copy of their eulogy. You can compile them in a document and provide it to the family. This way, if anyone missed any of the information, they can go back and read what was said.
Communicating with the families and having a clear understanding of their needs will make this day comfortable and safe for everyone.
If you have any other ideas on how to better serve families with hearing disabilities, please share them in the comments below!
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