AN Aberdeen charity is calling upon people with hearing loss to take charge of their condition by learning to lip read as part of this year’s Lip Reading Awareness Week (14-19 September).
North East Sensory Services (NESS), which has offices in Aberdeen, Dundee and Elgin, is highlighting the significant benefits that learning to lip read can give to those whose hearing is diminishing.
Lipreading is recognised as a vital communication skill for people who have a hearing loss, involving the ability to recognise lip shapes and patterns before filling in the gaps in conversation in order to maximise communication.
Lipreading classes explore a range of communication skills and show people how to use different listening devices that can also support communication.
A NESS service users, who attended lipreading classes at the charity’s Aberdeen centre, said: “When I first started to lose my hearing I used to ask people to repeat what they had said but many of my work colleagues would just walk away and ask some- one else.
“As a result, I became withdrawn and felt very isolated and would avoid contact as much as I could. Then I found out about the lip reading classes at NESS and went along and enrolled. After two years of classes, my quality of life has changed dramatically.
“I now will initiate a conversation and I am much more assertive when I have difficulty making out what another person is saying by asking them to look at me while they are talking to me.”
Graham Findlay, chief executive for NESS, said: “Lipreading is a vital communication skill for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. Lipreading classes explore a range of communication skills and show people how to use different listening devices that can also support communication.
“It can help people to improve their management of hearing loss, remain engaged in family and social networks and fulfill their potential at work.”
NESS is holding a lipreading class for beginners class starting fortnightly on a Monday starting 5th October at John Street, Aberdeen from 2-4pm and there are still some spaces available.
A class will also be held fortnightly in Inverurie at the St Mary Centre on a Tuesday at 11am-1pm. Classes will also be held in Elgin, with further classes planned in Tayside later this year.
For more information email email@example.com, or call 07593 102004 or 01224 625622.
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