The life of people with hearing loss

inspired by ImpacTalk

Can a hearing person imagine what life would be like without these sounds? Have we ever thought about what life is like for a deaf person?


Moderator: Fotis Sergoulopoulos, Presenter


Vassilis Kourbetis, Counsellor A of Special Education, Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs

Panagiotis Kordonouris, President of EKE association

Lefteris Minas, football athlete, Olympic Champion

Evgenia Galani, News Presenter

Nikos Leventakis, Primary Education graduate

Elissavet Katsaraki, sign language interpreter

Myrto Gkanouri, sign language interpreter

To watch the full Experts Talk video

The life of people with hearing loss

The music, the laughter of a loved one, the crying of our child, sounds that move us, make us happy and help us communicate; can a hearing person imagine what life would be like without these sounds? Have we ever thought about what life is like for a deaf person?

How can a parent who is born with a hearing problem communicate with his/her hearing child? Or, how can parents prepare their child for the world, if the child cannot hear like his/her classmates and friends? How different is the life of a person who has to turn every sound into a visual stimulus in order to realise his existence? How willing are we all to communicate with others if we are to learn a new language, such as sign language?

A society of justice must have at its core the equal treatment of all citizens without exception. People with hearing problems have experienced and continue to experience forms of social exclusion and marginalisation. Although stigma and prejudice tend to be eliminated, practical issues have not yet been resolved. The daily lives of deaf people are still full of challenges, at a time when equal opportunities and access to all areas of social life, such as education, work, health, mobility and leisure, are still a main issue in the 21st century.

President of EKE Association, Panagiotis Kordonouris, Olympic champion and football athlete, Lefteris Minas, news presenter, Evgenia Galani and a graduate of the Primary Education Department, Nikos Levantakis, speak about what it means to be deaf in a hearing society. The discussion is also attended by Counselor A of Special Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Vassilios Kourbetis, while the role of the moderator is taken over by presenter Fotis Sergoulopoulos, who explains why he decided to learn Sign language.



Fotis Sergoulopoulos

Fotis Sergoulopoulos has been a television presenter since 1997, presenting entertainment shows.

Communication is his great talent. This is the reason why he’s in the fourth year of learning the Greek Sign Language.

This year he is in charge and presents a series of podcasts on Lifo entitled "Finally you did well", featuring people from the LGBTQ community.


Vassilis Kourbetis
Counsellor A of Special Education, Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs

Vassilis Kourbetis was born in October 1959 in mountainous Olympia.

He received a BA in Primary Education in 1979, a Master’s in Deaf Education in 1982 and a Doctoral degree of Education in Applied Psycholinguistics and Deafness in 1987 from Boston University.

Since February 2012 he’s been Counsellor of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and Head of the European and International Education Policy Office at the Institute for Educational Policy.

Until February 2012 he was a Special Education Counselor and from February 2000 until May 2004 he was Vice President of the Department of Special Education at the Pedagogical Institute.

He has been the Scientific Director of the National Deaf Foundation and Research Fellow at the Institute for Speech Processing of the Deaf Federation in Greece and the Centre for the Study of Communication and the Deaf at Boston University. He worked as a teacher for 13 years in US Deaf schools.

He has published numerous articles in Greek and foreign magazines and books, 4 monographs and numerous presentations in Greek and foreign conferences.

He has created Educational Tools for the education of deaf people and their communication with the hearing, using the Greek Sign Language, and for students with disabilities as a Scientific Officer and Associate. These educational tools are in the form of multimedia such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and Video.

He has participated in European Programs as Scientific Officer and Associate.

His main research interest is the education and the community of the Deaf and especially the structure and use of the Greek Sign Language.

Panagiotis Kordonouris
President of EKE association

Panagiotis Kordonouris has served as Vice President of the Deaf Federation of Greece and as Special Secretary of the Hellenic Sports Federation of the Deaf.

He was also the Technical Director of the International Deaf Sports Committee (ICSD - Deaflympics) and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Deaf Foundation (EIK). Since 2002 he has been a Civil Servant in the Ministry of Finance / Region of Attica. In 2007-2009 he was a secretary in Deaf Sports Association.

In the period 2010-2012, he served as Special Secretary to the Deaf Association in Greece. From 2010 to 2015 he was a member of the Deaf International Football Association (DIFA).

Since 2012 he has been president of the Deaf Union of Greece. Since 2009, he’s been Secretary - Vice President - Treasurer of the Hellenic Deaf Federation of Sports.

In 2010 he founded the Panarkadikos Athletic Club "Moria" and in 2017 he was the Leader of the Hellenic Olympic Deaf Mission at the Deaflympics in Samsun (5 Medals - 86% Success of Medal Targets).

Since 2018 he has been Vice President in the Hellenic Federation of the Deaf and from 2017 until today he has served as Technical Director of football in ICSD (International Committee Sports Deaf).

Finally, since 2018 he has been an Administrative Member (as Omke Representative) of the National Foundation for the Deaf.

Lefteris Minas
Football athlete, Olympic Champion

Lefteris Minas is a football player with 78 appearances in the National Football Team of Deaf Athletes and a champion in the Panhellenic Deaf Football Championship and in the Deaf Champions League with the Deaf Athletic Club (POK). He is a founding member and a board member of the Deaf Association of Larissa, Panathlitikos Deaf Club and the Deaf Champions League.

Since 2004 he has been an employee of the Financial-Administrative Department of the Centre of Veterinary Medicine of Athens under the Ministry of Rural Development and Food and in 2019 he was transferred to the Hellenic Federation of Deaf Athletes as a Technical Director in the Football department.

He has participated in various conferences in Greece and abroad, played in numerous local, national and international Football Championships, and at the Deaflympics. He established the Football Academy at the Deaf Athletic Club and was the coordinator of the two big Deaf Champions Leagues in Athens in 2012 and in Larissa in 2017.  

Evgenia Galani
News Presenter

Since 2013 she has been a PADA student in the Department of Graphic Design and Visual Communication and since 2019, presenter of the Greek Sign Language News Bulletin.

Since 1999 she has presented TV shows on state and private channels as well as in the Press and Social Media on issues of Sign Language and the Deaf Community in general. In 2020 she carried out an educational program of 150 hours, entitled "Introduction to the Structure and Forms of Greek Sign Language” (Centre for Training and Lifelong Learning of the University of Thessaly). In 2021 she did the Linguistic and Philological Editing of the National Anthem, creating a version of the Anthem in the Greek Sign Language; Association of Greek Sign Language Teachers, under the auspices of Greece 2021 Committee for the 200 Years since the Greek Revolution (Member of the Committee).

Since 2010 she’s been a Member of the Board at the Centre of Greek Language learning and Supportive Intervention “KIVOTOS Polyhoros”.

From 11/2016 until 1/2017 she was an instructor of the Greek Sign Language at the Greek Language Learning and Supportive Intervention Centre “KIVOTOS Polyhoros”.

She has been a presenter of events of similar organisations such as Signmark, the anniversary conference at the KIVOTOS Polyhoros Centre and as an inspirational speaker at TEDx, while she has been invited to various interviews such as in VICE and HandsUp. In 2011- 2013 she participated in European Deaf Youth Programs and in 2017 in European Youth Exchange Programs. In 2011, 2013 and 2017 she participated in the Deaf Youth Committees of EKE, PEK and SKPN (as member and secretary).

Nikos Leventakis
Primary Education graduate

Nikos Leventakis is a graduate of Primary Education of the Pedagogical Department. The spot in which he starred in promoting vaccination and protection measures against the pandemic broke success records and his happy and lively face entered every Greek home, but also, every Greek heart.