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November 13, 2021

'I Mattered': Deaf Guest Cries at Wedding When She Sees Thoughtful Gesture of the Bride and Groom

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Many individuals perceive the road to accessibility as arduous and complex. However, in one case, a bride challenged this assumption. One conversation—that's all it took for this wife-to-be to make her friend with hearing loss feel like she genuinely belonged. 

Thirty-one-year-old Laura Driver was born profoundly deaf. The communications and marketing officer for a national regulator in the deaf sector, as her friend 32-year-old Sian Tigwell said, is used to not being accommodated when it comes to her deafness. 

The two companions have been confidantes for over a decade. They initially met at the University of York, where they both studied English. Being so close to someone who was deaf made Tigwell more aware of inclusivity issues surrounding those who have severe loss of hearing. 

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Laura Driver [left]; Laura Driver looking at the speech-to-text screens [right]. │ Source: facebook.com/bananalaura facebook.com/rnid

A TOUCHING SECRET

As a result, when Driver's best friend began planning her wedding, which took place at Gosforth, Newcastle, on June 27, 2021, she made sure to accommodate her friend's deafness. Tigwell spoke to venue management to organize speech-to-text screens for the wedding speeches. The now-wife recollected

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"When planning my wedding, I thought big venues have resources to help people so there will be something they can do, we just need to ask."

These screens allow those who are deaf to read along in real-time. This is so they don't feel excluded from the crowd. These screens were meant to be a surprise, and although sweet, Tigwell was taken aback at the heavily appreciative response towards her gesture. 

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HAPPY CRYING 

Come the wedding day, when Driver found out what her longtime companion had done for her, she was left in tears, leaving the newly-wed sobbing as well. The wedding guest expressed

"Accessibility is so rarely thought about and so when it happens without you even asking, it’s really special."

The communications and marketing officer spoke about how great it was feeling as though she mattered. If anything, as the bride proved, it doesn't take that much effort to make everyone feel included, and that we should use her as an example of what inclusivity looks like in action. 

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ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

No matter what capabilities we do or do not have, in general, people seem to go out of their way to make others feel comfortable no matter what. One deaf groom was brought to tears when his bride signed their whole wedding song as she walked down the aisle. 

Elizabeth Shoesmith and Scott chose a wedding classic: "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perry. When she began signing the romantic tune, the husband-to-be did his best to hold his tears in but couldn't help but break down.

A deaf groom receives his bride at the altar and is overcome with emotion | Photo: Youtube/Inside Edition

Since then, every time he watches the video, Scott still can't help but cry. Both he and Driver's tears show how easy it is to make those who are differently-abled feel just slightly more at ease in the spaces they occupy.

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