Communicating with deaf people using lipspeakers

17 03 2017

communicating with deaf people lipspeaker

Communicating with deaf people at conferences and workshops

To grow professionally and sharpen your skills you need to make an effort to explore new ways of working and learning. One of the best ways to do this to invest in yourself by frequently attending networking events and conferences. Effectively communicating with deaf people during such in-person seminars and workshops might seem difficult, but using a lipspeaker will provide equal opportunity.

Lipspeaking has been around since 1948, and a formal training programme was put in place in the 1960s. The Association of Lipspeakers is now celebrating its 20th anniversary.

A lipspeaker accompanies the deaf person, who can lipread, to an event and repeats what is said, enunciating clearly and without a voice, so the lipreader only needs to lipread one clear and trained speaker instead of several unclear speakers.

There is power in connecting with people who are active in your line of work and lipspeakers enable deaf people who lipread to share in that power.


Bloody morons

8 12 2009

I’ve booked a place on an arts course at the City Lit. I chose this adult education college as it’s famous for being accessible to deaf people. I enquired about communication support for my course;

Dear Visual Arts Department,

I am interested in joining this particular course next spring. I am profoundly deaf and lipread. and I have a query regarding communication support. Which would be more appropriate for this course’s teaching style, a palantypist, lip speaker or notetaker? I have a palantypist already available to me and will be able to bring her.

I look forward to hearing from you. My palantypist tried to phone you but she just keeps getting voice mail.

Regards, Prospective Student

They replied;

Hello Prospective Student,

Thank you for your email. This course will include classroom lectures, discussions, group work and possible outdoor practical work. From my understanding of the available support you have described, a lip speaker may be the most suitable. I would suggest that you contact our Access to Learning team to discuss any support City Lit may be able to offer. Their contact details are on our website.

Kind regards, Visual Arts Dept.

Fair dinkums. I emailed the Access to Learning Team;

Dear Access to Learning Team,

Please see emails below. I have a palantypist already booked so the easiest thing would be to bring her along, and then I wouldn’t incur cancellation fees. She will need a power socket and table or desk to put her laptop on.

I would not be happy using a lip speaker full time (as suggested by Visual Arts Dept) as this is too tiring for me – you would also need to book 2 lip speakers as they would alternate every 15 minutes to give each other a break (however I get no break!).

For outdoor work (and possibly group work) I can use a lip speaker for short periods of time – which also means only needing to book one lip speaker plus it’s cheaper. I usually use Mrs X (a level 3 lip speaker) however she needs to be booked ASAP as she gets booked up very quickly and lip speakers are extremely hard to get hold of. A palantypist can cope with group work depending on how it is set up – she needs to be able to hear others so a breakout room is better than a corner of a room with other groups in it, and if we are sitting in a group rather than moving around, then that is easier for her too.

Regards, Prospective Student

No reply. I emailed them again. Six days after my first email, they replied;

Hi Prospective Student,

Thanks for your e-mail. We use our own in house support service to provide support for learners and wouldn’t normally be happy with students bringing in their own support. All students need to have an assessment of their support needs which takes into account the most appropriate support for that course.

Please contact our Deaf and Disabled support service (DDS) to arrange an assessment.

Kind regards, Learning Support Team

*bangs head on desk*

Bloody morons!

What happened to a deaf person’s choice of communication support? Especially when I’m not asking them to pay anyway! I wonder what level or qualification the in-house support workers hold? There isn’t a level higher then Level 3 for lip speakers, and my palantypist is registered and qualified. There are only 25 palantypists in the UK so I know I am extremely lucky to have one at all, and they want me to cancel her and try to get another one?!!

I wrote back, copying in DDS;

Dear Learning Support,

As I already know exactly what I need and I already have support booked, I don’t see how canceling it (and incurring extra costs) and booking other (possibly inappropriate) support would enhance my learning experience.

Please note I cannot sign and therefore do not require a sign language interpreter. I require a lip speaker and palantypist which is already in place. I am more than happy to come down to the City Lit and speak to you morons someone about this. Arranging an assessment would take too long and cost me extra in cancellation fees if I am asked to cancel and re-book the same support that I already have in the first place.

Regards, Angry Student

*bangs head on desk again*

Walks & Talks for Lipreaders : Shoreditch & Hoxton, London

24 05 2009


Historic Shoreditch & Hoxton – London’s Creative Quarter : 11.30-1.30pm Sunday 5th July 2009

*Meet inside Old Street Tube Ticket Hall*

Walk with Diane Burstein, London Blue Badge Guide

Trace Shoreditch’s history from the days when it was London’s Theatreland (“Shakespeare in Love” was partly set in Shoreditch! ) to its current status as a centre for artistic creativity. England’s leading circus centre, a Victorian music hall, and a traditional street market all feature on this walk, which finishes at the Geffrye Museum, London’s museum of domestic interiors.

Lipspeaker & SSE provided.

Ticket price £6.00 per person, payable in advance. To book places please email LIPREADER @ YMAIL.COM with your name and address, and a booking form will be sent to you. The tickets and programme for the day will be sent out by return. Max. 2 tickets per lipreader.

Advance booking essential.

Walks and talks for lipreaders

27 02 2009

Have you ever tried using a lipspeaker? They can be booked for tours and make these accessible to deafened and heard of hearing people. You can find out more about lipspeakers on their association’s website.

Monthly walks for lipreaders (with 2 lipspeakers/SSE booked to provide communication support) have been arranged in London – if you would like to join a walk, leave a message here and I will get back to you with contact details. Your email address won’t be in public view but I’ll be able to view it.

Here are our next walks –

Walk 4: Walk with Diane Burstein, London Blue Badge Guide. “Brothels, Bishops and the Bard – Historic Southwark and Bankside” Sunday, 26th April 2009 11.30-1.30pm
*Meet outside Monument Underground Station, Fish Street Exit*

Listen to the notorious Bankside stories, view Southwark Cathedral with its Shakespearean connections, see reconstructions of Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Literature, religion and prostitution all feature. Ticket price £6.00 per person, payable in advance.

Walk 5: “Anyone for Tennis?” – Sunday 23rd August 2009, 2.00pm – 4.30pm

We have investigated the possibility of an exclusive guided walk around the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Ground for our late summer walk.
We can indeed have such a tour as long as we have a party of at least 15 people, prepaid. The tour would also include time at the end to browse around the Museum. The Guides are all Blue Badge Guides.
We can reserve tables in the cafe beforehand, for people wanting to buy a sandwich or light lunch and a drink, before we start the walk. That would mean meeting in time to be at the cafe for 1.00pm.
You will see that the cost of the tickets for this guided walk are much higher than for the walks we have done so far. Each ticket is £14.00. We will use our usual limit of 2 tickets per lipreader so that we can all see and hear everything the guide has to offer us. We need to book this group visit ASAP as they get filled up very quickly and bookings for August have just opened. I am sure there will be large numbers of visitors there all over the summer but that should not deter us from making the visit.

Do let me know if you are interested, we will send you a booking form and we will send out the tickets as soon as we receive them from Wimbledon. On the booking form, remember to circle the YES or NO for the reserved seat in the cafe. If some do want a seat and others do not it does not matter. We will arrange a meeting place, and time, for the start of the tour.

You might want to check out the Wimbledon website.

Jeanette talks about her experience on one of these walks…..

My name is Jeanette Wright and I was born hearing and became deafened 22 years ago very quickly and very traumatically. After seven years of isolation I decided to learn sign language to teach my children because they were so very hard to lip-read. I then became a qualified trainer and now work as a freelance trainer and teach Deaf/Deafblind Awareness and Communication Tactics with Deaf/Deafblind.

It was a lovely spring morning and I was going to visit Windsor Castle with a group of deaf people – the sun was shining and I was really looking forward to my day out. I got dressed and left home full of the joys of springs.

My friend had kindly offered to give me a lift from Shenfield station in Essex near to where I live so I waited outside the station for her to collect me. Imagine my horror when she arrived in a SKODA!!! Bright red in colour as well so it certainly caught the eye of many people passing by. I sheepishly ducked as I got in the car and just hoped no one recognised me.

Then to my dismay I discovered that the tour was outside – not inside – I had no outdoor wear, just a thin jacket and high heel shoes!!! I began to wonder then if my day was not going to be as exciting as I had anticipated. Although the sun was shining it was very windy and extremely cold outside.

My friend fortunately had a spare coat in the boot of the car so I was lucky enough to borrow it but my poor feet at the end of the day were suffering. The streets of Windsor and the castle grounds are all cobbles and stiletto heels are not practical as I found out.

On arrival at the castle there were a number of people queuing to purchase tickets but I had my ticket so I went to the front of the entrance gates and walked in. The staff were lovely and very friendly – greeting us and making everyone feel special – not just the group of deaf people.

The security staff were another story though – they were very abrupt and although I appreciate their work is serious business I don’t think a smile would go amiss – but maybe that is not included in their job description!!!

This was a special tour arranged for Deaf/deaf people so we were provided with an interpreter BUT also a lip-speaker which is something more organisations should think of providing. Organisers sometimes think to book interpreters for Deaf but never lip-speakers for deafened/hard of hearing people – they think ‘loops’ are adequate – which is certainly not always the case.

The tour guide Monica was lovely – very patient and allowed ample time for us to take in what was being said. Monica kept the tour very interesting and I was fascinated by the amount of history I learnt from her. History was not my favourite subject at school but I could have ‘listened’ to Monica for hours.

I was given a brief written out-line before the tour giving me a rough idea of what would be said so when Monica delivered her talk I could remember what I had read earlier so it made it so much more enjoyable for me and also less tiring. Maybe this is something which could be provided in future for all Deaf/deaf people attending the tours.

The interpreter Tracey Tyer was obviously full BSL (British Sign Language) which I can understand most of the time but for today I was watching the lip-speaker Linda Croton (Luscious lips). I asked if Linda would add signs when lip-speaking and she was happy to do this so I had total communication.

I would definitely recommend people to attend these tours, you will find out about the 20 castles built all around London to protect the City, you will find out about the difference between the Union Flag and Union Jack etc. I am not going to tell you about these as you should go on the tours yourself – they are well worth attending but please remember to wear flat shoes and take a coat!!!

When the tour had finished we had ample time to explore on our own and I think my favourite part of the Castle though was the Queen’s Dolls house – it is so lovely and I could stand and look at it all day and still find things to see. Also the view from the North Wall is absolutely amazing – makes you appreciate how beautiful England is.

Fortunately the rain held off until the end of the tour – then the heavens opened up and we got soaked running back to the car park – I was only too happy then to get in the SKODA out of the rain and also to take off the high heel shoes.

Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Braque: Aimé Maeght and his artists

6 10 2008

BSL and Lipspeaking Gallery Tour

The Royal Academy presents an exhibition demonstrating the achievement of the famous Galerie Maeght. Featuring works by Miró, Calder, Giacometti and Braque, this exhibition reflects the freshness, optimism and inventiveness of the art that took post-war Paris by storm. The gallery opened in Paris in 1945 and was to become one of the most influential and creative galleries of the twentieth century. The artists it showed expressed a bold new spirit in art which exploded in France after the dark years of the war.

This exhibition will present Aimé Maeght’s outstanding contributions to art in the mid-twentieth century – as an art dealer, exhibition maker and publisher – and will focus on the major artists he exhibited. The exhibition contains more than 140 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, prints and artists’ books by Miró, Calder, Giacometti and Braque, as well as works by Bonnard and Matisse, from the extensive collection of the Fondation Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence.

When: Friday 10 October 6-7pm. Please arrive at 5.45pm.

Where: In the Sackler Wing of Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD (Click here for directions)

Artist Lucianna Whittaker presents this tour. BSL interpretation and lipspeaking support will be provided. Radio receivers with loops for personal amplification are available to borrow on request.

£3 including entry to exhibition.
Tour and exhibition entry is free to Friends of the Royal Academy.

For information or to book, please contact the Access Officer:
Tel/text 020 7300 5732
Email access @
Fax booking form to 020 7300 8013
Royal Academy

A walk on the wild side with Gyles Brandreth

21 08 2008

A Walk on the Wilde Side: Gyles Brandreth presents on Sunday, 5th October 2008 at 11.30am – Waterstones Bookshop, Piccadilly, London

After enjoying this wonderful walk, devised and led by Gyles Brandreth, author of ‘Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders’ etc., Diana Barimore and Lynne Dubin decided to invite him to offer this walk to lipreaders who may not have heard the promotion for this walk on LBC radio.

He was delighted to be asked to offer this walk to their clients and students and so they have arranged with Waterstone’s Bookshop, the original presenters of the walk, to offer a short introductory talk, the walk and an epilogue – and a book signing for those who would like it!

This event will take place at Waterstones bookshop in Piccadilly on Sunday morning the 5th October at 11.30am. The walk itself will last approx. one hour and start and finish at the same bookshop.

There will be SSE and Lipspeaking services offered for the entire event.

The events room at Waterstones bookshop, where they will meet before and after the walk, will have a portable loop system installed for hearing aid users.

Waterstones are currently devising a suitable pamphlet with background information, the walk details, £3 voucher and booking arrangements. Tickets must be reserved in advance. There will be twenty places reserved for deaf and hard of hearing people. The cost of this event is £3 per person. There is a maximum of two tickets per person.

This is an exclusive event. Sunday morning has been chosen for the walk to minimise the background street noise.

Gyles Brandreth is a marvellous communicator and anyone joining this walk will be able to see and follow both Gyles and the Language Service Professionals (LSPs).

They hope this will be the first in a quarterly series of exclusive walks and talks built around some of the interesting people and places of London, past and present.

If you would like to be on their mailing list please contact them by e-mail: DAVIDDOE @ YMAIL.COM

Lynne says the first 20 lipreaders who respond can buy tickets for themselves and one friend. Then she’ll see how many more they can manage. They want everyone to be able to see/hear/lipread/use comm services etc.

The next event is in December and should be good too!!

She has the tickets and pamphlets and will send out booking forms over the weekend of 22 August. You can request tickets by emailing them on DAVIDDOE @ YMAIL.COM and make sure you include your contact details.

The Language Service Professionals organising this are Lynne Dubin and Diana Barimore, CACDP Level 3 Lipspeakers and MRL.

Lipspeaking tour of Windsor Castle

6 03 2008

Information on a lipspeaking tour has come from St James’s Palace.

Royal Collection Education – Windsor Castle

BSL and Lipspeaking Interpreted Guided Tour
Saturday 12 April 2008, 13:30

Explore 1,000 years of history and discover a royal palace through their BSL & Lipspeaking interpreted guided tour of Windsor Castle.

A Windsor Castle tour guide will take you through the Precincts as you explore the history of the Castle from its foundation by William the Conqueror to its use today by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.

Visitors see the impressive Castle buildings and are told of the highlights and treasures that can be seen inside the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel.

Tickets must be booked in advance
To book please call 020 7766 7324 or email

Tickets cost £14.80 for adults, £13.30 for over 60s & students, £8.50 for children and £38.10 for families (2 adults, 3 under 17s) and include:

Guided Tour with BSL Interpreter and Lipspeaker
Entry into the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel
Free Windsor Castle Souvenir Guide
Free St George’s Chapel Guide

Information on how to get to Windsor Castle and where the tours start from will be sent out with the tickets before the event.