Not just lip service

There are an estimated 10 million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing: one in six of the population.

The 'Not just lip service' report cover.For many people with hearing loss, a long-term condition, lipreading is a vital communication skill.

Interviewer: "Do you think the way you communicate with people has changed since starting the course?”

Lipreading class participant:“Completely, 110% changed, it’s totally changed. My whole outlook on starting a conversation with someone, yeah totally. I can’t tell you how much it’s changed.”

Our new report ‘Not Just Lip Service’ provides us with evidence about how lipreading classes can improve communication and help people with hearing loss to live full and independent lives.

As a basis for the research project, we funded a beginners’ lipreading and managing hearing loss class. Interviews were conducted with our class members to discuss their experiences and we also asked them to take an exercise to assess their lipreading ability.

Key findings from the class and report include:

  1. lipreading is a definable skill that can be acquired and developed. Every class member who completed the course demonstrated a measurable improvement in their lipreading ability over the duration of the course.
  2. participants developed knowledge of additional communication tactics to support lipreading, including knowledge of how to influence the communication environment and increased awareness of assistive equipment and services.
  3. participants demonstrated that as a result of attending the course, they were:
    • more in control of facilitating and improving communication
    • able to act independently to facilitate communication
    • more proactive and confident about communicating
  4. participants reported positive changes in different areas of their life as a result of the learning from the course. Examples of how the course had benefited class members in their day-to-day life included:
    • improved management of hearing loss overall
    • being able to better manage work meetings
    • less likely to find social activities isolating 

Download the report

To read the full findings and recommendations, please download the full report: ‘Not Just Lip Service: Why it’s time to recognise the value of lipreading and managing hearing loss support’(PDF 765kb, opens in new window).

You can also download the executive summary(PDF 803kb, opens in new window) of the report to get an overview of the findings and recommendations.

For further information, please contact our Information Line:

Telephone: 0808 808 0123
Textphone: 0808 808 9000