I was talking to Penelope Weinberger, organizer of the Contra Sonic series, this past weekend (and I interviewed her -- watch this blog!) and she mentioned that people who were hearing-impaired still went to clubs and could dance to the vibrations coming through the floor. While trying to translate calls into ASL might prove problematic with ambient half-light in a techno contra, it does raise an interesting point. Traditional contra music, by and large, isn't terribly bass-heavy; the traditional music certainly has some, and there are members of the contra community who are hearing-impaired (not all of whom are older -- one of my regular dance partners for a while was hearing-impaired and he is now in his early 30s), but I wonder if this might be an avenue to explore. Could this be an avenue for outreach into the hearing-impaired community? Could a similar workshop to Scott's be designed to simulate being hearing-impaired to create a similar sort of empathy and similarly strengthen the contra community as a whole?
Thoughts are welcomed, especially from folks who know more about these issues than I do. (I don't pretend to have all the answers, and just because something makes logical sense to me doesn't mean that it works in the breach.)