City Lit Blog

Welcome to our new City Lit colleague Nicola Hicks

Story added 27th Nov 2019

In this article, our new colleague Nicola Hicks, Teacher Co-ordinator, Lipreading and Acquired Hearing Loss, explains why she recently joined City Lit…

‘Back in 2015, I had an episode of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Doctors couldn’t tell me why it happened or if it would get worse.  They just issued me with a hearing aid and I was left to get on with life. My biggest worry was – how am I going to hold a job down when I can’t hear properly?

An audiologist suggested taking lipreading classes. I didn’t even know such classes existed, but I did some research and found one locally. I learned lipreading skills and communication tactics that helped me at work. I also benefited hugely from mixing with other people with acquired hearing loss. It helped to take away the feeling of isolation that often accompanies sudden hearing loss.

As my interest in the subject grew, I decided to train to become a lipreading tutor.  My own tutor had trained at City Lit. In 2017, I applied to City Lit to study the Award in Education and Training and the Lipreading Teacher Training Course.  When I first qualified, I started teaching an evening class for Community Learning MK alongside my day job at the Open University.  In 2019, I decided to turn my hobby into a career and I am now the new Teacher Coordinator for Lipreading and Acquired Hearing Loss at City Lit.

I am very excited to start teaching two new courses. The first one is a half-day workshop called managing hearing loss at work, and the second one is an intensive four-week introduction to lipreading. These are both courses that I would have liked to go on when I first started to lose my hearing. However, I am now very much looking forward to the opportunity to use my experience to help others with acquired hearing loss.   

I have learned that I can still hold a job down after hearing loss and with support from City Lit my hearing loss has lead me to a whole new career.’

Nicola Hicks


Managing hearing loss at work

13 December, 10:00-13:00

This course is for people who have a hearing loss and who work in an office environment. It covers a range of common office scenarios and issues that arise for people with hearing loss.

Find out more:

Intensive introduction to lipreading

21 January 2020 – 11 February 2020, 13:15-14:45

Find out about the skills involved in lipreading and build your confidence in understanding conversations. This intensive course will give you some concentrated theory and practice to build on. Suitable for beginners.

Find out more: