Communicating with DEAF and HARD of HEARING People

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What is a lipspeaker?
Lipspeakers convey a speaker’s message to lipreaders accurately, without using their voice. They reproduce clearly the shape of the words, the flow, rhythm and phrasing of natural speech and repeat and stress as used by the speaker.

The lipspeaker also uses facial expression, natural gesture and fingerspelling (if the lipreader requests this) to aid the lipreaders understanding. A lipspeaker is therefore a human aid to communication through whom a message is passed.

The lipspeaker never 'acts' on behalf of a lipreader, or makes any comment on or judgement of the message they are relaying.

Who uses lipspeakers?
Lipspeakers are used by deaf, deafened and hearing impaired people, whose main means of communication with other people is through lipreading and speech.

Where might a lipspeaker assist a lipreader?
When many people speak there a many factors which will make them difficult to lipread; talking too fast, poor lip shapes, covering their mouth, more than one person speaking at once. These are just a few examples. A lipspeaker can be employed to accompany a lipreader(s) to a variety of settings, for example:

  • Adult education classes
  • Further and higher education lectures
  • Conferences and meetings
  • Training courses
  • Job interviews
  • Hospital appointments
  • Political meetings and more.


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