"She could always learn lip-reading!"

Has this ever irritated you?

If you have you ever made or felt like making this sort of remark about a deaf person, it would probably help for you to understand what lies behind it.

Lip reading classes are fun, and it does provide a real lift to meet other people who are experiencing the same problems as oneself.

Problems with lip reading

I found the classes of limited practical use, however, because in real situations people face away as they talk; speak too quickly or slur their words without properly moving their lips.

Also some words look the same on the lips, like 'share' and 'chair'; 'shoot' and 'shoes'; and 'juice and June' because it is the invisible position of the tongue that is making the words sound different. These are simple examples, which one might possible work out from context, if one was sufficiently quick thinking. However, when it comes to more complex multi-syllable words that look the same like 'Singapore' and 'Istanbul', it really gets too tough.

The only realistic way forward

Although anyone who has lip read from birth may be able to cope, it really would be expecting too much to expect someone who has grown deaf in their later years to become competent. Acceptance is the only way forward.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is for a lay audience and I cannot be responsible for errors or omissions. The views, strategies, advice and suggestions etc are based on my personal experience and are not necessarily appropriate for anyone else. They should, hopefully, stimulate individuals to develop their own strategies.