What is HearingLossHour?

HearingLossHour is a live twitter chat for people with hearing loss. Each month, there is a different topic relating to hearing loss, and a facilitated discussion, tips, resources, and support.

When does HearingLossHour take place?

HearingLossHour takes place at 1pm (UK time) on the first Tuesday of every month.

What is HearingLossHour?
What happens during #HearingLossHour?

What happens during #HearingLossHour?

Originally, HearingLossHour was launched with the aim of helping people new to hearing loss, connecting them with others to give support and share experiences.

But, since its launch in 2015, it has become a community of people with all different types of hearing loss, some of whom have had hearing issues since birth, and others who are experiencing hearing loss for the first time right now.

Each month, there is a different theme for the discussion and 3 or 4 questions which come from the @HearingLossHour Twitter account. Everyone is invited to then tweet their answers and share their experiences, tips and support.

How to join in

HearingLossHour takes place on Twitter.

To join in, you will need a Twitter account.

To get the most out of HearingLossHour, it’s a good idea to first become familiar with Twitter: how to Tweet, retweet, and how to add links and images to tweets. Here are the basics to get you started #HearingLossHour takes place at 1 PM (UK time) on the first Tuesday of the month. Taking part is the same for everyone. Go to the Twitter search box and search for #HearingLossHour. Then click on ‘Latest Tweets’. The timeline will continue to refresh with new tweets throughout the hour.

How to join in
How it all started

How it all started

Angie Aspinall founded the monthly Twitter chat HearingLossHour in 2015 to try and help combat the social isolation often felt by people with hearing loss. It has since grown into a global community of people with hearing loss, who meet up monthly to discuss and learn from each other. Find out how it all started and Angie’s story.

Sudden Hearing Loss

HearingLossHour was inspired from my hearing loss journey. In 2011, I suffered sudden sensorineural hearing loss. With it, I also experienced vertigo that was so bad I wasn’t able to get out of bed for several days. Moving my head made me sick. I was laid in bed, cut off from everyone.

A week or two prior, a friend had taught me how to use Twitter. I decided to try it out while I was immobile. It was ideal because it involved no head movement and enabled me to connect with people without needing to hear. After a few hours, I was hooked! I was amazed how easy it was to chat with strangers about all manner of things. I’d been feeling very isolated. Then suddenly, it felt as though a whole world opened up for me.

The vertigo subsided after a few days of treatment, but the deafness turned out to be permanent. I found it too hard to communicate with people face-to-face and became withdrawn. I continued to use the social media platform to communicate both with people I knew in real life and new friends I’d made on Twitter.


Finding Community on Twitter

At that time, none of the communications were about my deafness and what I was experiencing; I was using Twitter more as a distraction. And then I shared my experience via a direct message (DM) with a new Twitter friend. Her reaction was so lovely that it spurred me to be more open about my hearing loss. Together we set up #Yorkshirehour, a weekly business networking event on Twitter. It was a great success, gaining over 50,000 followers at its height.

As my confidence in opening up about my hearing loss grew, I started to meet other people on Twitter who had also suffered sudden sensorineural hearing loss and other types of deafness. It was good to no longer feel alone.

After being fitted with a hearing aid, I felt I had been given my life back. I could once again participate in conversations and hear traffic, so I could stop worrying about getting knocked down while crossing the road!


Launching #HearingLossHour

In 2015, I launched HearingLossHour as a time to talk about hearing loss once a month on Twitter. The hope was that it would help others with hearing loss feel less isolated. At first, the sessions took place at 7 PM on the first Wednesday of the month (the hour before #YorkshireHour), but we tried other times too. A weekday lunchtime proved to be more popular. It meant people could join in on their lunch break and professionals could join in as part of their working day. Now, we meet on the first Tuesday of every month.

The main questions are shared by the @hearinglosshour account. However, anyone is free to ask questions relating to that month’s topic. You just have to remember to include the hashtag in every tweet so it can be seen by all participants (and not just your followers). It’s as easy as that!


Who Takes Part in HearingLossHour?

Participants are a mixture of people living with hearing loss or working with people with hearing loss. Some are new to hearing loss while others have been living with hearing loss for many years. We have some lovely regular participants. Most participants live in the UK and other parts of Europe, but we have some dedicated Twitter friends who wake up early in the US especially to join in. We’re looking forward to having you join the community as well!