Young Adults Can Also Have Hearing Loss

December 12, 2018.  Many people have the impression that hearing loss affects only people who are older.  This isn’t true.  Anyone can have hearing loss, at any age, and from a number of causes.  Ten years ago, a Young Adults Network (YAN) for those between the ages of 18-35 began in Canada.  Their goals are similar to our own here on the island, except the focus of YAN is on young adults.  They want to raise awareness about the issues and concerns of hard of hearing young adults in Canada, to enable them to connect with each other, and to provide support for them in their daily lives. For a brief summary of YAN’s history, see

In November YAN organized a 3 day Youth Forum, entitled ‘To Hear and Be Heard’ in Ottawa.  Young adults from across Canada were invited to participate, and Island resident Colin MacKenzie was one of them.

IMG_0331 Colin in Ottawa

Colin MacKenzie in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy of Katherine Elsinga.)

Colin gave the following account of his experience:  “On November 7, I got the opportunity to go to Ottawa and attend the Conference. When I first arrived, I knew a couple people that were there from a deaf camp that I used to go to every summer as a kid. It was really nice to meet up with people that I haven’t seen in at least 4 years. The first night we had icebreakers, and I found people that are attending the university that I am planning on going to next year. These people gave me an insight into what the university is like and what kind of benefits that I can get since I am hard of hearing. They also told me a couple of stories about their experience of being HOH on the campus. This helps me get a better understanding of what to expect next year. The speakers were also amazing, and it was very organized.

Colin with friends

Colin, second from left, with other attendees at the YAN Youth Forum. (Photo courtesy of Katherine Elsinga.)

Our thanks to Colin for sharing his experience.   Do you have a story to share?  Email us at or comment on our blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI.

© Daria Valkenburg