Lip-reading is an essential skill for many with hearing loss problems, and alongside the use of hearing aids it helps those who are hard of hearing to understand others. It is a challenging skill to master and requires a lot of patience and concentration, which many of us with good hearing take for granted.
So, in conjunction with Lip Reading Awareness Week 2016, which runs from 12 to 19 September, we have created a quiz so you can test yourself and discover how well you would do if you needed to lip-read every day.
As you now know, lip-reading can be very hard, so it’s important to make it as easy as possible for deaf people to understand you. One in five people in the UK now have hearing loss, so being a deaf aware person will be appreciated by many around you. Here are some tips that will enable you to be more helpful to those who lip read.
- Do not get frustrated. Remain patient and repeat your sentences if necessary, encouraging the lip reader to ask for help if they are still unsure.
- You may like to reword your sentence if it was not understood after the first or second instance.
- Even if the lip-reader has an assistant, it is still advised that you direct your speech to the person affected by hearing loss.
- While speaking out loud may help, added volume does not always add clarity, so please do not shout.
- Use your body language and facial expressions to provide extra clues for the lip reader.
- Minimise the distractions around you, such as the audio from a radio, flickering images on a television or even excessive decoration in a room.
- When out and about with someone who needs to lip-read, make sure to choose places with bright lighting, and pick round tables when eating at restaurants.
- Why not learn the basics of sign language to communicate even more clearly?
- Lipreading Practice advises that you congratulate yourself every time you lip-read something correctly.
- They also have a variety of exercises that you can take on their website, which will teach you how to lip-read and help you improve.
- If you prefer, try taking lip-reading classes or attending a support group, which is also a great opportunity to meet others with similar hearing limitations.
- Try to minimise the distractions around you, so that you can fully concentrate on the lips and facial expressions of the person talking.
- Don’t be afraid to ask others to move into positions that will make lip-reading easier for you, or to ask people to repeat their sentences; people will more often than not be glad to help.