Tributes paid to lipspeaker Sara Scanlon

Posted on July 13, 2016

Tributes have been paid to lipspeaker Sara Scanlon, who passed away on 4th July.

Sara worked with Action on Hearing Loss, NRCPD and Signature and for many years on the committee for the Association of Lipspeakers, taking on the role of chair, information officer and membership secretary.

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Action on Hearing Loss said:

Sara worked alongside Action on Hearing Loss for many years as a professional lipspeaker and was a key part of the Access to Communication in English (ACE) partnership, representing the Association of Lipspeakers (ALS) of which she was Chair and secretary.
The ACE Partnership worked to improve access for people who have a hearing loss and use English to communicate. Some of Sara’s most important work included supporting both the development of the National Occupational Standards for lipspeakers and the creation of a nationally recognised course to meet those standards.
This meant students could meet the necessary level to register as Communication Professionals with the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD). Sara and her colleagues then delivered the training courses across the UK with (ALS) to ensure that potential lipspeakers could train and register.
She also worked with Action on Hearing Loss in awareness raising – from articles showing people what she did as a lipspeaker, to developing a Communication Rights Guide to inform people with hearing loss what they could expect in terms of Communication Professionals and access.
Sara continuously and tirelessly improved communication access for people who have a hearing loss.  She embraced change and worked collaboratively to make a real difference and her work will have an impact that will last, as the people that she trained are now working as lipspeakers, supporting access every day.
All of this was of course, in addition to being a very valuable Communication Professional herself, working with many of our deaf staff, service users, and deaf people nationally and around the world. Sara was awarded the Signature Communication Professional of the Year Award 2009 recognising all her hard work.
On a personal note, many Action on Hearing Loss staff past and present will remember Sara for her cheerfulness, and ability to get on with everyone, as well as her determination, positivity and absolute dedication to her work.
Our thoughts are with Sara’s family and friends during this time.
Her funeral will be held at 12.30pm on Saturday 16th July at St James RC Church, Forbury Road, Reading, RG1 3FD.
There will be an induction loop and BSL interpreters at the service, as well as a speech-to-text reporter.
In lieu of flowers for her funeral, Sara requested donations to be made in her memory to the National Deaf Children’s Society ( and CommuniCare (
Sara’s family have asked people to come to the funeral dressed as Sara would have known them, to celebrate her life and work. 

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Posted in: deaf news