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What is Lipreading?
Lipreading is 'seeing the sound of speech' – the movements of the lips and the tongue, together with facial expression and body language are all clues for the Lipreader. The Lipreader will also observe the syllables, the natural flow, the rhythm and phrasing and the stress of speech.
Is Lipreading Important?
Yes. Having a hearing loss makes speech sounds quieter, distorted or both. Lipreading is invaluable, it will help considerably in 'receiving' the message. Learning to Lipread not only helps with communication but improves self confidence.
For severely or totally deafened people Lipreading may be the only possible means of everyday communication.
Is Lipreading difficult?
Yes. Some people do find Lipreading difficult, but do not be discouraged; once you have developed your Lipreading skills you will be more likely to take part in everyday communication with family, friends and colleagues, and also take part in conversations you might have previously avoided.
Lipreading helps to overcome the isolation which can all too easily result from having a hearing loss.
Are there any limitations?
Yes. Not all words are easy to Lipread, and some people talk very fast, or mumble, or cover their mouths when they speak, so we learn other strategies to help us cope when this is the case.
Can I improve my Lipreading skill?
Learning to Lipread takes time, patience and understanding, but the rewards are immense; and while you learn you are improving your confidence, lessening your feelings of isolation, and enhancing and strengthening your communication ability.
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