Hard of Hearing Hearing Loss Lipreading Personal advocacy Self Advocacy Speechreading/Lipreading

Is Lipreading Possible?

Is lipreading possible? Yes it is! We all lipread to some degree, hard of hearing and hearing people too. It is possible to improve your communication by learning the lipreading strategies.

Is it 100% accurate? No, there are too many variants. Some people really do mumble. Others who don’t move their lips. There are men with big bushy mustaches and beards and there are people who are monotone. Yes, that affects ‘lipreading’ too, and much more. 

Is it hard to learn? Yes and no. 

Lipreading does not adequately describe what we do when we take in communication. We say this over and over again so more people understand: Lip shapes are only a small tool that we use when ‘lipreading’. Honestly, the lip shapes come in handy most when we are stuck on a word and nothing makes sense until we know what the word is. Even then, other strategies come into play.

Thinking that lipreading is all lip shapes would be like everyone spelling words instead of saying the word.  Remember, many lip shapes aren’t visible so we fill in the gaps with several other strategies. That’s what we teach in our Lipreading Concepts class. To be successful with lipreading, you need to know how to fill in the gaps. 

Lipreading? Speechreading? Neither term adequately describes what we are really doing. 
A picture of hands holding binoculars with bright red lips in "oo" shape. 
Scattered words: body language, gestures, facial expression, lip shapes, logic, wait for it, environment, anticipation, creativity and flexibility.
Arrows point to different words in no particular order.
What lipreading looks like.

Get information on our lipreading classes HERE.

The individual lip shapes are more challenging to learn but entirely possible! There are 5 visible, distinct lip shapes and we teach those in Lip Shapes LIVE with a bonus. Then there are several that are less visible which we teach in Lip Shapes LIVE Advanced. We teach these lip shapes building on the 5 most visible ones from the first class. Throughout both classes, we reinforce the strategies learned in the Concepts class.

The lip shapes are harder and that’s why we create a supportive environment and encourage each other. As we practice together, we sometimes miss the word. No one is perfect. We’re tired, distracted or we saw something that isn’t on the list. Often someone else saw it the same, the wrong way. We compare the words to find the differences. We laugh and talk about hearing loss communication issues. 

We have a class for lipreading concepts/strategies, 2 classes for various lip shapes and one class that has conversational topics weekly.

Here’s a testimonial from our Google Business site: 

“Are you or someone you know hard of hearing? Are you having issues with communication? You are in the right place…Hearing Loss Live has helped me hear better, thru lip reading. Over the last few years, I have been losing my hearing. I wear hearing aids, but I don’t always hear people. I, like many others, read lips. Thanks to the team at Hearing Loss Live, I ‘hear’ much better than I did a year ago, thru lip reading. The classes, concepts and lip shapes, give you a ton of useful information, things that you use each and every day.”

People who took all 3 of our classes wanted more. We created a ‘conversational’ style class with Lipreading Advanced. We have set topics (reinforcing strategies) for all students to share a short story. If you’re one of our returning people, you find the schedule & registration HERE

Who can teach lipreading?

Another comment that pops up now and then: “I thought only speech pathologists teach lipreading.” They can and do. 

Hearing Loss LIVE! doesn’t teach people how to speak. Our students already have language. We teach people with hearing loss, and their partners, how to set their stage for communication. We share tools and strategies to fill the gaps that hearing loss leaves. And we also teach people to recognize the more visible lip shapes. 

At Hearing Loss LIVE!, we have several years of teaching lipreading classes under our belt. We taught classes with the state of Utah. Julia, as a hearing person, learned to lipread. Chelle uses lipreading daily in her life. We walk our talk.

Class Schedules:

We have different class sessions throughout the year. Go to our Lipreading Classes PAGE to learn more about each class. Click on the registration link there to learn about current class schedules. We also host “Super Saturdays” for those who work during the week. Join our newsletter (link on our home page) to keep an eye on upcoming classes.

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