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Connecticut Teen Inspiring Others on YouTube Joins HLAA’s Walk4Hearing

Annabelle on the beachSeventeen-year-old Annabelle’s YouTube series, “Hear for Hope,” is designed to help others and share a positive message about hearing loss. She came up with the idea during the pandemic, when mask-wearing interfered with her ability to lip read.

“Your hearing aids don’t have to stop you from achieving anything,” said Annabelle, who started the online series about her experience living with moderate to severe hearing loss.

She is also participating for the first time in Connecticut’s Walk4Hearing event on June 11, and her “Hear for Hope” team is raising money. HLAA Walk4Hearing events are held in communities across the nation to bring attention to hearing loss, promote hearing health, and raise money for advocacy and support programs.

Annabelle says a summer job working at a school for kids with hearing loss inspired her to share her story. It was the first place she saw hearing loss as commonplace, and parents peppered her with questions about growing up in a hearing world.

Annabelle smiling with her mom“I was so surprised that these parents seemed to think their kids wouldn’t be able to live normal lives,” said Annabelle.

“My main vision is to reach parents who are worried about their child’s future. I want them to know they will be able to achieve their dreams,” says Annabelle, who not only began the YouTube series, but also started a hearing loss group at her high school. She was surprised to learn there were several other students like her, and they’ve started sharing their experiences.

Annabelle says she’s now more confident and able to advocate for herself, including asking for accommodations like subtitles, or moving her seat to the front of the classroom. Her message to others is to never give up! “Everyone has something that affects them daily – something they struggle to overcome in their life. Just take it one step at a time!”

Annabelle playing squashAnnabelle says she may want to become an audiologist, or something in the hearing health field. HLAA is thrilled to have this inspiring young woman as a Walk4Hearing participant. She’s already doing so much to support and encourage others with hearing loss, and now she’s part of the HLAA family!