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Advocacy Speechreading/Lipreading

SHANNA GROVES: Lipreading Mom

Author and Hearing Loss Advocate Shanna Groves, Lipreading Mom, is our guest on this week’s Hearing Loss LIVE! podcast.

Michele first heard about Shanna in 2009 when a fellow SayWhatClub subscriber shared an HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) call for submissions for hearing loss stories for a project Shanna was working on for them. Then, in 2012 Michele crossed paths with Shanna on the CCAC captioning forum.

Chelle became aware of Shanna in 2013 through volunteering for the SayWhatClub Social Media Team. She also participated in Shanna’s Show Me Your Ears campaign with her favorite translucent red hearing aids.

Both Chelle and Michele had an interest in lipreading and advocacy and shared Shanna’s blog articles on the SayWhatClub Facebook page. Shanna’s Stop Hearing Loss Bullying campaign is also notable for addressing bullying and the long range effects it has on self esteem. 

Professional Bio

Shanna Groves is the author of two books about hearing loss, Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom and Lip Reader. Since 2013, she has taught lip reading/speech-reading classes in the Kansas City area. Shanna holds a Masters in Special Education and Bachelors in Communication. She has written about her own progressive hearing loss on the blog LipreadingMom.com.

What is LipreadingMom.com?

Shanna: Ten years ago, I began to write about my experiences as a hard of hearing parent through the Lipreading Mom blog. Posts emphasize hearing loss awareness, living with deafness, advocacy, and parenting. 

I also include information about the following:

Books

My first book, Lip Reader, is a work of fiction that was inspired by deaf and hard of hearing family members. Here is the book synopsis:

Lip Reader features a colorful cast of characters—an unkempt uncle living in a school bus; a grandfather who preaches in a rundown church; a grandmother born deaf; an aunt fluent in sign language but lacking in social graces; and Sapphie, who finds courage and hope despite mother Rea’s unthinkable act of betrayal.

My second book, Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom, is about the early years of living with my hearing loss diagnosis as a young mom. Here is a synopsis:

Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom explores the roller coaster ride of my progressive hearing loss, which was diagnosed two months after the birth of my first child. I was 27. Three healthy kids later, the hearing loss accelerated. Sounds once taken for granted – the doorbell, smoke alarms, baby cries – were now quiet. In the midst of imminent and unexplained deafness, I describe the initial struggle to accept hearing loss and finding grace along the way.

Lipreading Resources

Sounds to Lip Read and Why Reading Lips Is So Hard are two good blog posts about the lip reading classes I teach. In my classes, we work on learning the categories of speech sounds based on how sound appears on the face: lip biters (/f/ and /v/), lip pressers (/p/, /b/, and /m/), lip puckers (/o/, /oo/, /w/, and /wh/), jaw droppers (/a/ and /ah/), teeth clenchers (/sh/ and /ch/), and tongue (/l/ and /th/). Thirty to forty percent of speech is visible on the face, and that is why lip reading can be difficult without some access to sound through natural hearing and/or hearing amplification. 

Advocacy

Show Me Your Ears and Stop Hearing Loss Bullying are two LipreadingMom.com campaigns to increase awareness about hearing loss, deafness, communication access, assistive technology, and allying with the deaf/hearing loss communities.

Show Me Your Ears is a photo campaign of people’s ears, hearing aids and cochlear implants, with submissions by LipreadingMom.com readers from around the world. My favorite “Show Me Your Ears” photo (right) came from a dad, who received a tattoo for a cochlear implant to match his daughter’s C.I. The photo went viral when it was submitted on social media, and I was able to interview the dad about his experience.

Stop Hearing Loss Bullying is a video produced with a group of volunteers to raise awareness about discrimination and trauma experiences related to hearing loss, and ways to promote inclusion.

View our companion podcast.

Shanna shared her visit with us on her blog.

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