Discover the remarkable talents of Gael Hannan, an accomplished hearing loss advocate and humorist.
Hearing loss is no laughing matter – unless you choose to see the humor in it, as Gael Hannan does. In addition to her talents as a writer, actress, and educator, Gael is a hearing loss advocate and comedian who uses her progressive hearing loss as a source of inspiration and empowerment.
Who is Gael Hannan?
At the age of three, Gael was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss, one of the most common types of permanent hearing loss which affects the inner ear. She has been navigating life with hearing loss for decades now, collecting experiences and life lessons along the way, and putting them to good use! In her life and work, Gael wears many different hats. But in all her roles, her passion for raising hearing loss awareness and helping others shines through.
Gael is a writer, advocate, actress, public speaker, educator, and comedian dedicated to helping the world smile a little longer and laugh a little harder. Learn more about each of her talents below.
Gael is a prolific writer in a variety of mediums. Her book, The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss, was published in 2015. It’s a memoir-meets-survival guide covering everything from relationships and special moments to work and recreation. She blends her personal stories with insightful advice both for people with hearing loss and their loved ones. Plus, her anecdotes will keep you laughing while you read! (She is a comedian with hearing loss, after all!)
Her other writing endeavors include a weekly column for Hearing Health & Technology Matters and a column for Canadian Audiologist, in addition to her blog on her website and other articles and reviews for a variety of hearing loss and other publications.
An Advocate, Actress & Speaker
When Gael initially discovered hearing loss advocacy at age 40, one of her first projects was Unheard Voices, a dramatic one-woman play exploring hearing loss from a variety of perspectives. With candor and compassion, she has performed the show in front of thousands of people. Over the years she has also added monologues, spoken poems, and even rap songs to her performance arsenal.
Gael’s talents and enthusiasm extend to her work helping the next generation. She brings hearing loss awareness to elementary schools across Canada and other countries through the Hearing Foundation of Canada’s Sound Sense program. This award-winning project educates over 25,000 grade school children every year about noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and offers tips for prevention.
Check out this article on ways to prevent NIHL in a noisy world.
A Comedian with Hearing Loss
The thread that weaves through all of Gael’s accomplishments – writing, speaking, and performing – is humor. While hearing loss is a serious subject, Gael always finds a way to make you smile while broaching the topic with relatable honesty and grace.
Gael is a multi-talented and widely celebrated comedian with hearing loss. She has received several awards for her work from the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and the Consumer Advocacy Award by the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
If there’s one lesson we can learn from Gael, it’s this: no matter what life throws at you, find a way to look on the bright side. While adjusting to hearing loss – or any other change in your circumstance – can present unique challenges, as Gael says, “a sense of humor makes living with it easier.”
Read about other inspirational celebrities with hearing loss, including Mandy Harvey, and check out our blog for more hearing loss-related articles.