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Gael Hannan at the SayWhatClub Convention

Gael Hannan is one of our favorite hearing loss advocates and she will be a workshop presenter at the 2013 SayWhatClub convention in Williamsburg, VA this year. Her blog is a must read and is at the Hearing Health website which you can read here by clicking here: Gael Hannan. She grew up with a progressive hearing loss. She’s a director for the board of Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) and a key developer for the Sound Sense program along with many other projects related to hearing loss.


Her blog is one of my favorites to read because she often uses humor to discuss our daily mishaps. Having had hearing loss all her life, her perceptions hit the nail right on the head. Here are some of my favorite clips from her posts:

On relationships with audiologists:

From the very first meeting, client and professional should establish a collaboration that will offer powerful benefits to both parties. They have clearly defined roles and share the responsibility for success. Otherwise, audiologists will continue to struggle with clients who balk at every suggestion, and hard of hearing clients who, if they are not exposed to additional communication strategies beyond their hearing aids, will not develop the best possible skills to successfully manage their hearing difficulties.”

It is hard to find a good audiologist who listens and knows what he/she is doing.

Hearing Aid Batteries

“The most challenging aspect of hearing aid batteries, beyond making sure you have some, is the act of putting them in. These cells are small beings, requiring manual dexterity. Battery manufacturers understand this and are always working on new designs for packaging and insertion. There have been dial-a-battery packages and some that push the battery out, but at the moment we seem to be back to simple packaging.”

Lots of good tips about batteries in this post. My hearing aid batteries went out last week at work and I forgot to put more in my purse so I spent the day hearing without one hearing aid and the other beeping at me all day to let me know it was going out too. I managed to make it announcing to each client, it was one of those days….

A Bad hearing weekend

“On Sunday evening, as we got ready for my son’s hockey game, there was the usual move-your-butt-we’re-running-late kind of family nattering going on around the house. Yelling up the stairs at my son, struggling with a two-storey conversation, I finally asked him to kindly come down so I could understand what he was saying. He tapped me on the shoulder from behind. He had been downstairs and came up to find me yelling up the stairs at a phantom. He found this very funny – me, not so much.”

I have three kids and there’s been a lot of hearing loss moments between us too so I got a good laugh here.

The whisper game

But back to whispering, something that gives hard of hearing people the willies. Whispering is about intimate secrets just beyond our reach, just beyond our capability. When someone whispers into our ear, their message is instantly compromised. If people whispered at us the same way they talk to us – face to face, with reasonable lip movement and facial expression – we would have a fighting chance of comprehension.

But that’s not how people whisper. They move in close to our ear, their lips out of our sightline. ‘S’ and ‘F’ sound the same and emotions are colorless, because there is no tone of voice or facial expressions to help us out. The puffs of air we feel against our ear tell us nothing – they are just staccato bits of oxygen tickling our pinnas.”

Whispering willies, I get them. I always jerk my head away as soon as someone does that too.

sounds we can hear

As a person with hearing loss, there are many sounds I’d love to hear well again, like the sibilant ‘s’ and Christmas bells. There are other sounds that I’m happy not to hear well any more – a person blowing their nose, comes to mind, or a cat expelling a fur ball.”

Sometimes it’s not fair what we hear and don’t hear.

Meeting others who can’t hear

When you get home, your family  will notice something different about you. They won’t be able to put their finger on it – but they’re thinking maybe something about the eyes and they will be right. Your eyes aren’t crazed, just a little shiny, glittering with the passion of the newly converted. You left the house frustrated with your hearing challenges, and have come home with a new sense of,I have hearing loss – and hooray, that’s OK!”

So come to the SWC hearing loss convention to gain a new awareness with Gael Hannan. We are excited to have her present “Ear Rage” at our convention. Please join us and register now at:

Note: This convention has ended, but we have another coming up soon!

2 thoughts on “Gael Hannan at the SayWhatClub Convention”

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