Decor DIY & Tips

Designing a Deaf-Friendly Home for the Hard of Hearing

Creating an environment that’s friendly to those with special needs can be a challenge. Those who are hard of hearing need to rely on their other senses to understand the world around them. To make home living more comfortable, here are a few things to consider if you or a family member are deaf or hearing impaired:

Space

Communicating with sign language requires more personal space in order to make a full visual connection of what each person is saying. Keep spaces wide enough for two people to communicate at a comfortable distance. It’s also best to choose a home where common-area rooms aren’t separated by walls to make longer-distance communication easier. Lastly, keep furniture spread out so that someone hard of hearing can better assess their surroundings. You may even choose to include decor items like mirrors in places like the end of a hallway so that a person hard of hearing can see something out of their immediate field of vision.

Lighting and Color

Improper lighting and color can lead to eye fatigue and loss of concentration. Minimize them by guaranteeing that all rooms in your home are properly lit. Embrace sunlight with large windows as long as they are properly shuttered or curtained so that they don’t cause glares. Lastly, embrace contrasting colors for furniture and decor to make items easier to find.

Acoustics

For those who have hearing aids or cochlear implants, background noises such as an air vent or outside construction work can be a huge distraction. To minimize unwanted noise, try installing acoustic panels on walls and ceilings. Also consider living in a neighborhood where noise won’t be a problem. Lastly, opt for carpet flooring over hardwood as they will absorb sound.

Creating a home that’s friendly to someone in the hard of hearing community can be a challenge as they face seemingly minuscule obstacles that are amplified from not being able to hear. Embracing these principles will give you and your family a more comfortable living at home.

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