What is Lipreading?
Lipreading, is a way of understanding speech by visually interpreting the movements of the lips i.e. watching the lip shapes, facial expression, natural gesture, together with any residual hearing.
Just about everyone lipreads to some extent without even realising it, even people with perfect hearing, especially in noisy surroundings. However, to become a really good lipreader requires skill, technique and concentration.
If you realise you are losing your hearing it is useful to start learning how to lipread now before it worsens.
Some words look the same – they have the same lip pattern but are completely different in meaning.
For example: summer/ supper and buy/my/pie.
A lipreading teacher will show you how to tell the difference.
Can Lipreading help me?
Yes — most hearing loss experts recommend that people of all ages with any degree of hearing loss learn to lipread. It is better to learn with other people, perhaps in a group or in a class.
Although you can’t learn to lipread everything, we will give you the tools and awareness to develop your skills. The sessions help improve confidence and self-esteem in a safe environment. You do not have to be hard of hearing to attend, you may just want to accompany a partner or friend.
Where Can I learn to Lipread?
What are Lipreading skills sessions like?
Lipreading sessions are very informal and friendly and are taught by a qualified tutor of lipreading. It is not like school; you can go at your own pace and the tutor will encourage you to have a laugh and relax.
Your tutor will demonstrate the different shapes that sounds make on the lips so that you can identify them. They will show you how to take note of the position of the tongue when certain sounds/letters are formed. They will also explain how to fill in the gaps of speech that you can’t hear, and how to use clues from the context of the conversation and body language.
Attending lipreading sessions is an ideal way to meet other people in a similar situation to you and share experiences with people who have different degrees of hearing loss.
You’ll pick up lots of tips and practical information to help you cope with your hearing loss!