Collaborating With 'The Association of Lipspeakers'.
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
For this blog post, I am helping raise awareness the amazing work of ‘The Association of Lipspeakers’ (ALS).
These guys are a professional association representing Lipspeakers. Their work is impressive and unfortunately unknown by most Deaf/Hard of Hearing people. I had the pleasure of meeting Tina and Julie at the Norfolk Deaf Festival on Friday 24th May 2019, situated at the Forum in Norwich. These ladies represented the association and aimed to raise awareness of this service.
What is a ‘Lipspeaker?’ You may or may not have heard of the term ‘Lipspeaker’ or even be aware that this is in fact, a profession of work. A Lipspeaker is a Hearing person with professional training to be easy to lip read by a Deaf/Hard of Hearing person. This professional is able to relay spoken language to a Deaf /Hard of Hearing individual with accuracy. This method can be used when the Lipspeaker either repeats this silently or they can be requested to use their own voice if the Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual has some residual hearing. Not only is this relayed accurately through words, but the method also “reproduces the rhythm, tone and flow used by the speaker, supporting the meaning with gestures and facial expressions”.
If the Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual does not understand a certain word and it is a difficult or easily confused word to lip reading, this first letter of that word can be initialised on the fingers.
There are in fact Lipspeakers who are qualified Sign Language interpreters and can offer both Sign Language support together with lip-speaking! This service is suitable for both Deaf individuals who rely on Sign Language and Deaf-Oral communicators.
How can they help me as a Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual?
You can book a Lipspeaker for pretty much any occasion where communication takes place and assistance is needed. Some examples: weddings, funerals, in legal, education and medical settings. If this service is required for more than two hours, you would need two Lipspeakers.
To ensure you have a qualified Lipspeaker, make sure you ask to see their NRCRD registration badge, which they would carry with them. Please see below:
If the Hearing person (who the Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual is communicating with), is unable to understand the Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual’s direct response, some Lipspeakers may be able to relay verbally what is being said. How can I book a Lipspeaker and what is the cost of this service? To access Lipspeakers who are both qualified and registered, this can be found on the following websites: www.lipspeaking.co.uk www.nrcpd.org.uk
The providers of the service have the responsibility of funding the Lipspeaker service for you, in settings such as: educational, health and legal settings.
This service can also be funded through ‘Access to Work’. This is a service provided by the Government, to fund for services for certain people who have difficultly accessing work.
Lip-speaking support falls under this support category because this can enable a Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual to have support provided during situations such as, meetings, job interviews and training courses.
When booking a Lipspeaker, it is important that you do this in advance, as these services are in great demand!
I decided to personally collaborate with 'The Association of Lipspeakers' to raise awareness of the fantastic work they do. I am currently learning BSL Level 2 Sign Language, therefore I only know some of the basics. I would consider myself an oral deaf individual and this service would benefit people like myself. I was surprised that this service existed! It is important that Deaf /Hard of Hearing people are aware of the services that they have a right of access.
Remember to check out their social media pages and give them a follow! Twitter: @ALSLips Facebook: Association of Lipspeakers (ALS Official)