Unitron’s Discover Next PlatformSeptember 1, 2020
National Fitness DaySeptember 23, 2020
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝐢𝐬 𝐋𝐢𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐀𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝟕 𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲.
Deaf people who rely on lipreading face massive communication barriers as they are unable to see people’s mouths or facial expressions, and voices will be muffled with less clarity when people are wearing face coverings or face masks.
There are things you can do to make life a bit easier for deaf people who lipread. These small things can mean a lot to someone and can make a huge difference.
𝟏. 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡
Lipreaders rely heavily on being able to see another person’s mouth. You could temporarily remove a face covering while speaking to a deaf person if you feel safe doing so. Just be sure to stand 1-2 metres back like you should when speaking to anyone at the moment.
While face coverings are mandatory in supermarkets and shops, there are some exemptions in place to help people who rely on lipreading. It is always worth checking specific rules for the country you live in as these exemptions may differ slightly.
For example in England you are exempt if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lipreading to communicate, and in Scotland you are exempt if you are communicating with someone else who relies on lip reading.
𝟐. 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤
These aren’t as widely available yet as other types of face masks, but some independent providers in the UK are starting to sell them.
Try looking on sites like Etsy for transparent or see through face mask, or make your own using our step-by-step instructions >> https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/blog/facemask/
Wearing one will enable a deaf person to see your mouth when you are talking, which would really help them.
𝟑. 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧
If you have a pen and paper handy, try writing down what you want to say. This can be a quick and simple way of communicating.
𝟒. 𝐓𝐫𝐲 𝐚 𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐚𝐩𝐩
As you speak, these apps display what you are saying as text on the screen of your phone, which you can show to someone who can’t hear your voice. This can be very helpful for someone who relies on lipreading but can’t see your mouth. All you’d need to do is download the Google Live Transcribe app or other similar apps (depending on the type of phone you have) to test them out.
𝟓. 𝐓𝐫𝐲 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐠𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬
If its appropriate to do so and would more easily explain what you are saying, try showing what you mean using a gesture or an action. Just try to keep it simple. For example, if you were explaining where something is, try pointing, or beckoning for the other person to follow you so you can show them.
𝟔. 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭
If someone can’t work out what you are saying, the last thing you should do is start shouting. This can come across as aggressive and can (understandably!) make a deaf person feel bad – no one enjoys being shouted at. Instead, try other ways of communicating that would be more effective.
𝟕. 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐮𝐩
If you are struggling to communicate with someone who is deaf or has hearing loss, it’s better to keep trying, or to try something else, than to just give up.
It can be really disheartening for a deaf person if someone gives up trying to communicate with them. It implies ‘What you are saying doesn’t matter’ and can make them feel like they don’t matter. There are always ways around any difficulties you have communicating with someone.
Steven Ross (MSHAA, RHAD)
58 Cadzow Street,
t: 01698 283549
m: 07340 746950