Cathy - City Lit lipreading student
How have lipreading classes changed your life?
Lipreading saved my life! Dramatic I know it sounds, but I was in such a dark place before I did my course. I had had a relatively minor car accident in 2007 and lost 100% of hearing in my right ear and 25% in my left ear overnight! I had become reclusive, withdrawn and very depressed. Learning to lipread brought “me” back. It gave me the confidence to join in social settings again and also massively helped rebuild my relationships with my family and get back to work. Becoming deaf didn’t just affect me but also my family. Managing hearing loss needs to become an integral part of learning to lip read as they go hand in hand.
Why is it important from your personal point of view to raise more awareness around lipreading?
Many people have no idea how learning to lipread can change their lives. There needs to be more awareness of lipreading, of the classes available to them and how it needs to be offered at the earliest opportunity. The earlier you can learn to lipread the less chance you have of becoming isolated, depressed etc. Whether it be from your first appointment with your GP or your audiologist, the fact that lipreading is available needs to be discussed and its benefits.
Why is it important train more people how to lipread?
More and more people, in fact 15.6 million people will be affected by hearing loss by 2035. That is a huge amount of people who will need the skill of lipreading to get through in life. From personal, social to work environments. Lipreading needs to be available to everyone.
When you started talking about hearing loss to professionals did you receive any information or recommendations about lipreading?
Never once did any of my hearing loss specialists from across the board discuss lipreading. In fact I didn’t know that it was available full stop. Only when I joined the Action on Hearing Loss Tinnitus forum online that I found out about lipreading. With the help of AOHL and City Lit. I am the confident chatty woman I was prior to 2007.