Lipreading Awareness Week 2017 is taking place across the UK between Monday September 11th and Friday September 15th, providing an opportunity for audiologists to highlight the benefits of this method of communication to their deaf and hard-of-hearing patients.
The event aims to raise awareness and understanding of how lipreading can help people who suffer from hearing loss to communicate with others and to take part in activities such as going to the cinema or simply watching a television programme at home without subtitles.
During the course of Lipreading Awareness Week, the Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults is offering lipreading taster sessions across the country so that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals can try it out and see if it works for them.
The charity Action on Hearing Loss has also published detailed information about what lipreading involves and how it can benefit people - audiologists may wish to direct their patients towards these resources if they are unsure about trying this method of communication for the first time.
Action on Hearing Loss explained that lipreading classes are always taught by a qualified teacher and allow students to go at their own pace.
"The teacher will demonstrate the different shapes that sounds make on the lips so that you can identify them," the charity explained.
"They will also explain how to fill in the gaps of speech that you can't hear and how to use clues from the context of the conversation."
The organisation added that these classes can also be a good way to meet people who struggle with similar problems, providing patients with an opportunity to learn from others in the same situation as themselves and build up a new support network for themselves.
Meanwhile, a recent study carried out by scientists at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre has found that lipreading can also have significant benefits for people who have been fitted with cochlear implants, despite audiologists often discouraging implant wearers from the practice.
It was discovered that as a person became more used to hearing via their cochlear implant, they also got better at lipreading.
Written by James Puckle
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