It’s great that we are fortunate to have an organisation like Hi Kent on our doorstep and access to professional help for lipreading skills. It is something that is very much appreciated and I will certainly do everything I can to urge fellow sufferers like myself to make use of all the help that you and your colleagues provide.
About The Course
Hi Kent works in partnership with Kent Adult Education to provide lip reading classes throughout Kent. We have the highest number of lip reading classes of any counties in England. 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.
The skills and tips are made very easy and fun to learn and have practical application and a sense of camaraderie has developed... Thank you for letting me join the group, it is an honour to join such tenacious individuals!
Most people lip read 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 lip reading 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 lip reading 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 lip reading.
A lip reading 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.
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 conversations very well shows me how the classes are making a difference to my life.
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.
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.
All classes, except the Sevenoaks and Whitstable courses (which are privately run), are free of charge. Our lip reading classes are funded entirely by donations and grants so any donation you can make to help keep your class running will be very gratefully received.
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.
Contact & Booking
Please contact Debra Jones for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01622 691151. Please note that enrolment is necessary since we have to keep our classes to a manageable size.
We look forward to welcoming you to your class!
Course Dates & Locations
We run over 20 lip reading classes throughout Kent. Please go to our Services Map to find a class near you. On the Services Map page, please enter your post code and search criteria, ensuring that you check the "Lip Reading Class" checkbox, circled below.