Molly Berry: Why Lipreading Awareness Week is important

Posted on September 12, 2016

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Molly Berry

Did you know that deafness affects one in six of the population in this country? That’s over ten million people! There are probably many more than that.

It takes people on average ten years to do something about their hearing loss. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is that most don’t realise they have hearing loss.

How can that be, you may ask.

Well, in the most common type of hearing loss, sound doesn’t get any quieter, which is what most people expect. You lose the high pitched sounds first, but lower pitches are as loud as ever, and you don’t know what you can’t hear because … you can’t hear it.

If you are turning up the TV, complaining that people, especially young people, don’t speak clearly any more, or struggling in meetings or social gatherings, it is probably time for a hearing check.

Modern hearing aids are excellent, smart, neat, mini-computers, but they still don’t cure hearing loss, so this is where a Lipreading and Managing Hearing Loss class can come in.

The sooner you join a class the better you will cope, with or without hearing aids. You will gain confidence, learn tactics and strategies to communicate better, find out about equipment and organisations that can help, and of course improve your lipreading, oh and classes are great fun!

During Lipreading Awareness Week (LAW) many tutors will be putting on free taster sessions. These, lots of other useful information and, Lipreading and Managing Hearing Loss classes nationwide are listed on the Atla website, and the classes are on an easy to use map-based search.

One of the most difficult things for anyone with hearing loss, and many without, is eating out. This should be a pleasure, but for millions of us it’s a chore, restaurants today are so noisy.

For this reason, the Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults (Atla) is asking restaurants to nominate a day during LAW when they will turn off their music, turn up the lights, and put tablecloths on tables, because hearing aids are confused by sound bouncing off hard surfaces, which distorts the sound.

Your local lipreading tutor will come and teach staff basic strategies to make sure they are understood, and we will put the restaurant’s name on our website http://atlalipreading.org.uk, linking to social media pages for the hard of hearing.

By Molly Berry, Lipreading Tutor, Chair of atla (Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults). 

For information on classes nationwide taught by qualified tutors, go to the ATLA (The Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults) website at: www.atlalipreading.org.uk

Restaurants who wish to take part can email law@atlalipreading.org.uk     

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