Hi Kent works in partnership with Kent Adult Education to provide Lipreading Classes throughout Kent. We have the highest number of Lipreading classes of any counties in England. All, except the Sevenoaks and Whitstable courses, are free of charge. They are great fun and our students really look forward to them. Everyone says how helpful it is to be with other people who really understand the problems of having a hearing loss.
You will be taught how to recognise the lip shape of different words and how to use this new skill when you need to with the aid of facial expressions and body language and using anticipation, knowledge of language and context to help fill in the gaps.
Most people lipread to a certain extent– even those with good hearing – and people who develop a gradual hearing loss have often started unconsciously to pay more attention to watching the speaker’s mouth.
In the Lipreading class, you will build on any existing ability you have by being taught how to identify the more visible lip shapes, how to distinguish them from different shapes and how to be aware of which sounds might look similar (e.g. ‘f’ looks like ‘v’ – try saying ‘fan’ and ‘van’ in the mirror).
You will also be taught how to use facial expression and context to help you make sense of what you see on the lips and to understand the overall meaning of what people are saying. You will learn communication strategies to help support lipreading and residual hearing, and you will be shown how to manipulate your environment to maximise your lipreading and use of residual hearing. You will also be taught to ‘finger spell’ as an aid to lipreading.
As well as improving your lipreading skills, a class will also give you information on how HI KENT can help you with equipment to help you in your daily lives, e.g. in using the telephone or television, and keep you up to date with any developments that could be of benefit to you.
A Lipreading class provides an ideal opportunity not just to practice your lipreading skills, but also to develop your confidence in coping with your hearing loss. It enables you to exchange experiences and information with those who share the same challenges in everyday life, making it a really supportive and stress-free learning environment.
Our tutors are all fully qualified and are hard of hearing themselves so really understand what it is like to struggle to hear. They want to make communication enjoyable again, so lessons often include quizzes and games. Everything is ‘confirmed’ in writing and this is projected onto the wall using an overhead projector or computer so you never miss a thing. You only need to bring a pad and pen with you and spare batteries for your hearing aid(s) if needed.
We do ask that, once you have joined a class, you commit to it for at least one year so that you have time to learn this new skill effectively enough to be able to use it. After that time, you are very welcome to continue in the class if you would like to, provided there are not people on the waiting list.
The course does not lead to a qualification as such, but we hope that each student gains confidence in the knowledge that communication will be easier in the future.
To find your nearest Lipreading Course. click on How We Help on our home page, enter your Town or Postcode and click Go. Then click on Lipreading to see the details of our Courses where YOU live.
For further information please contact Debra Jones at Hi Kent on 01622 691151 or Fax on 01622 672436 or e-mail D.Jones@hikent.org.uk
Our Lipreading classes are entirely funded by donations and grants.
It is nice to have achieved my goal and I have got so much confidence when out and about with people. To be told by people perhaps in a shop etc that I follow conversation very well shows me how the classes are making a difference to my life – AB
The group of people who are all experiencing hearing loss are all pleasant and sociable. Without this group I feel that I would be diving more into the depths of isolation. Not only in this class do I feel that integrating into other groups has improved since starting lipreading. I look forward to the classes and continued improvement in communication – TS
This class is a life saver to those of us with a hearing problem and to be able to communicate within class and with others. I do not feel so isolated from the hearing world we live in – BR