Speech reading, sometimes referred to as lip reading, is only a piece in the communication puzzle for people that are deaf or hard of hearing. It is important to remember, an experienced speech reader can only ascertain a maximum of about 30% to 35% of spoken English in real time conversations. Speech reading is not an end all solution for communicating with someone with hearing loss. It is important for individuals to have access to other visual cues, like lip and facial movements, gestures, posture and body language. When communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, remember to look them directly in the face, avoid covering your mouth when speaking, and don't hesitate to ask them if they are following along your conversation.
Check out this video as an example of how speech reading is part of the communication puzzle, but definitely not the solution.
Discussion: Think of ways that this girl and her peers may have had a more effective conversation.
Hearing Loss in Hollywood
There are many well known stars in Hollywood that are hearing impaired. Here are a couple of examples:
Print or write down these three words / phrases. With a partner, mouth the words without sound and have your partner guess which one you are saying.
You have salad / you have talent
Peas / beets
Elephant shoes / I love you
Challenging right? When talking with someone who is hearing impaired, speech reading is only part of the puzzle. These are only a few examples of how many words "look" the same and can lead to miscommunication.