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#HearingLossHour: Share your hearing loss stories on Twitter


#HearingLossHour is a monthly, hour-long Twitter chat, dedicated to bringing people with hearing loss together, to share their experiences and support one another. It is facilitated by Angie Aspinall via her Twitter account, @hearinglosshour. #HearingLossHour takes place between 1pm and 2pm (GMT/UK time) on the first Wednesday of each month. Anyone with a Twitter account can take part. 

Back in June 2015, I wrote a blog post about why I launched the #HearingLossHour on Twitter. I wanted to use social media to help others with hearing loss combat the social isolation sometimes associated with hearing loss – and to share experiences, tips and advice.

Since then, there have been eight more #HearingLossHour events, and we’ve talked about all sorts of things including: ‘accessibility at visitor attractions’, ‘best examples of customer care’, ‘your favourite alarm app’, ‘Christmas gift ideas for people with hearing loss’ and ‘accessibility on public transport.’ The events have enabled us to engage with services and businesses to raise awareness about what it’s like living with hearing loss and suggest improvements that could make our lives easier.

On Wednesay, we’ll have our next #hearinglosshour, and we’re inviting you to share your stories of when you first realised you had hearing loss. We’ll cover topics about first hearing tests, first hearing aids, the first person you told about your hearing loss, the first stranger you told – and their response.

Also, for the first time, we’ll be joined by two audiologists from @Phonak. They’ll participate in the discussion and we invite you to ask them questions. Please add both ‘#audiologist’ and ‘#HearingLossHour’ to your tweets if you have a question for them.

On average it takes 10 years for people to address their hearing loss, according to UK charity Action on Hearing Loss. We’re hoping that positive stories shared during #hearinglosshour will encourage others to take that first step towards seeking help.

So, at 13:00 (1 p.m.) GMT on March 2, log into your Twitter account, then go to the ‘search’ box and search for #HearingLossHour, and then click on ‘LIVE’.

 #hearinglosshour

As the live tweets come in, your timeline will be refreshed and show all tweets that include the hashtag #hearinglosshour. (Don’t forget, if you don’t include ‘#hearinglosshour’, others won’t be able to see your tweets when they use the search facility.)

Why just one hour?

When lots of people tweet using a hashtag in a concentrated period of time, then the topic may trend. When a topic trends, more people will find out about it and they too may join in. Focusing all the tweets into an hour will help our topics to trend and that in itself will help raise awareness about living with hearing loss.

2016 dates and themes:

  • March 2 – Acknowledging your hearing loss and seeking help 
  • April 6 – Listening to music
  • May 4 – Holidays/travel
  • June 1 – Communication tips
  • July 6 – Counselling/meditation/mindfulness
  • August 3 – Hobbies and activities
  • September 7 – School/college/work environments
  • October 5- Relaxation and alternative therapies
  • November 2 – Sporting activities
  • December 7 – Family gatherings

To receive a reminder about #HearingLossHour and be notified in advance of topics, you can sign up for the newsletter. If you don’t yet have a Twitter account, here’s how you can set one up.

We hope to see you there

Angie Aspinall on LinkedinAngie Aspinall on Twitter
Angie Aspinall
Phonak hEARo, Angie is a freelance journalist, copywriter, website designer and social media consultant. (www.aspinallink.co.uk) She lives in Scotland with her husband Richard, and their Westie, Tilly. Angie was diagnosed with Otosclerosis in her right ear at the age of 30. In 2011, she suffered sudden profound hearing loss in her left ear. She now uses a Phonak CROS II with a Phonak Audéo V hearing aid. You can follow Angie's international discussion group #HearingLossHour on Twitter @hearinglosshour.

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