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Deaf Awareness Week – Katie Kelly aged 17, shares her thoughts and experiences

My name is Katie Kelly and I’m 17 years old. I have had moderate to severe hearing loss my whole life.

Having my hearing loss for so long, I’m used to it, but there are some things I struggle with.

  • When I’m in college I must sit near the front to hear what my tutor is saying.
  • Before I got my in the ear hearing aids I spent my whole secondary school life concerned about what other people thought of me.

I sometimes feel annoyed about having hearing loss because I do struggle to hear people in a noisy environment (school, college).

Wearing Hearing Aids

To me its normal and something I have to cope with.

Before I got my in the ear hearing aids I had over the ear hearing aid and I had to wear my hair up all of the time and I was having headaches because I would always have my hair up.

The only time my hearing aids/loss bother me is when they run out of battery and some night when I take my hearing aids out to sleep my ears ring and beep.

I find it annoying as I have tinnitus, and this makes my ears beep/ring.

It doesn’t bother me wearing hearing aids as it is something I’m used to.


During the COVID pandemic, it has been hard as I often use lip reading if in can’t hear, obviously with facemasks you can’t see people’s lips.

I really struggle to hear when I’m in the corridor in college as we must wear masks and I find it difficult to hear what my peers and friends are saying to me.


People often think hearing loss is a disability and they are correct….

It annoys me when people say you have a disability because I don’t see it that way.

My hearing loss makes me who I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If I could say to anything to someone with hearing loss it would always be…

“Your hearing loss makes you who you are, it makes you unique as you have something others don’t, never let it stop you doing anything you want to achieve.”


To find out more about Deaf Awareness Week and the services available in Portsmouth City Click here.

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