Hearing Link

Linkups

Our LinkUps are for people who are looking to explore the challenges of living with hearing loss, share solutions, and to learn more about the strategies and equipment that can help make life a little bit easier. We deliver our LinkUps in-person for groups of up to 15 people, and remotely via secure online platform, for smaller groups through our LinkUp Online activities.

Who will benefit from attending a LinkUp?

These will be of interest to anyone whose life has been affected by hearing loss. This includes anyone whose hearing has deteriorated to the point where it is causing them difficulties. It also includes relatives, partners, or friends of someone with hearing loss, as we know that hearing loss in the family affects all family members and everyone needs support to find a new way forward. For this reason, we encourage participants to sign-up as a pair. The programme offers everyone the opportunity to explore their own challenges, and to understand better each other’s perspective. It is of benefit for those with recent hearing loss; but also, for those who have lived with hearing loss for many years or decades.

LinkUp groups

Unfortunately, due to social distancing measures currently in place in the UK, we are unable to offer our face-to-face LinkUp groups. For up-to-date information about which services are currently being delivered, please read our Coronavirus update.

LinkUp Online

LinkUp Online brings together a small group of 6-8 people via a secure online platform. There is a set format to our sessions, but this is driven by the areas of support you identify to us. The group facilitators, volunteers and participants involved in the session will work together beforehand, and in the early part of the course, to agree what topics or issues should be addressed in line with your needs.

How is the LinkUp managed?

Once you have registered your interest in attending a LinkUp Online, our friendly team will be in touch to assess your needs. We will offer you insight to how our sessions will work using your laptop or computer.  This will help us assess whether your equipment and broadband will enable you to get the most from the sessions, and reassure you about any stress or anxiety you may have about your computer skills stopping you from joining our group. On the day, the LinkUp Online is led by up to two experienced Hearing Link facilitators who have personal experience or understanding of hearing loss. One will have hearing loss themselves and so will have practical experience of managing the daily challenges that brings; the other will have a personal understanding of the frustrations hearing loss brings to the family or to other close relationships. (For smaller break-out groups, the session may be lead by one facilitator.) In addition to this, our sessions will be supported by up to two Event Support Volunteers who all have personal experience of hearing loss in one way or another. Their role is to make sure the sessions run smoothly, from a personal and technical point of view, and to also share their own personal experiences of hearing loss and the solutions they have found for the problems they have encountered.

How long does a LinkUp Online last?

LinkUp Online courses run over two non-consecutive weekdays.  We host a morning and afternoon session with ‘eye-breaks’ and longer breaks built in. There is also a longer break for lunch.

How does communication work?

During the sessions, we provide speech to text reporting (whereby everything that is said is typed in real-time and displayed on a screen) so that everyone can follow what is being said. During small group work, at a minimum, we will utilise closed captions subtitling provided by our online platform. The most important thing to remember is that everyone is in the same boat, so everyone understands and looks out for each other. You may feel deeply anxious that this will be too tiring, or that you will be left out of the conversation. We can assure that this is one place where good communication is practised, and everyone is included.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the sessions is currently covered by voluntary donations and funding from grant providers.

When are the LinkUp Online sessions held?

We will aim to deliver a LinkUp Online session at least once a month, or more, depending on the demand for this service. If you would like to express an interest in attending a LinkUp Online, please complete our form below. Please note, to ensure the quality of the service offered, if your first choice date is under 2 weeks from starting, you may be directed to your second choice:

Use of your data: Your data will be only be collected, processed and stored by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Hearing Link in line with our Privacy Policy.

Where can I get more information?

For any further information about LinkUps or any of our other support services, please contact our Helpdesk. Alternatively, find other ways of contacting us here.

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