Who’s the best lipreader of all?

28 02 2015

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Lipreading has become a rather commercial activity in the last few years. I’ve been asked to lipread celebrities at royal weddings, the Royals at royal weddings, babies and parents at royal christenings, criminals, sports people, and even the unsuspecting public.

I was born deaf and I have always been a lipreader. I am now totally deaf with 2 cochlear implants, yet I retain my lipreading skills. I am able to lipread most people I meet, lipread sideways, and even fool a lot of people into thinking I am a hearing person. I believe lipreading is not a science, it is an art. An art I have honed over many years, in many situations, in many different countries with various accents. My life experience of travelling around the world and “getting on with it” has served to make me a better lipreader. I can even lipread in Spanish, Japanese and Arabic.

There are days when my brain just “won’t compute” – I can be too tired for lipreading and the mental exercise inherent within, or my brain might just say “no”, or I may mentally get stuck and see a phrase which I know is not correct from the context of the language.

Forensic lipreading is even harder, as there is no sound at all, and often the screen view is very small. You are watching video footage over and over and over, sometimes a hundred times over, for perhaps a five second segment of footage, just to get that one word so that the whole sentence makes sense. You really can’t do this with a foreign language that you do not know.

Sometimes people tell me they are the best lipreader in the world. How do you think they are able to make that claim? Don’t you think it’s a bit presumptuous?

I’d love to hear what you think, please comment!





Are you a lipreader?

31 05 2011

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Test yourself on this video clip – the transcript is next to the clip.

Meet Con Ingham, who speaks but says nothing ….. video after the jump.

You can book an expert lipreader at O’Malley Lipreaders.





Walks and talks for lip readers in London

13 06 2010

Actors, Oarsmen and Artists – Historic Hammersmith
Sunday 18th July 2010, 11.00am – 1.00pm

As these walks are now rather popular please book early to avoid disappointment as we are limiting the number of the group to 25 people.
Also be aware that we are starting the walk half an hour earlier than usual, at 11.00am.

*Meet outside Hammersmith tube exit from Piccadilly and District Line Tube on Hammersmith Broadway, next to the Benneton store*

We are looking forward to seeing you on what we are sure will be a very interesting look at an area with lots of history and excitement right up to the present day, with great views along the river and ending in a green and pleasant park.

Walk with Diane Burstein, London Blue Badge Guide

Passing Hammersmith by road or rail people often don’t realise that the River Thames flows through this area which holds some delightful secrets. Theatres, film locations, an elegant square, two churches, an exclusive school with some famous ex pupils and, of course, a riverside walkway with great views all feature. Hear of some actors, writers and artists past and present who have made Hammersmith their home. Learn the history of the famous Oxford v Cambridge boat race while passing the many sailing clubs which line this part of the river. Discover a bridge which is a great survivor and find out why some Hammersmith residents should have avoided the funeral of one of England’s most popular royals.

Lipspeaker & SSE provided for Diane’s walk.

Tickets £6.00 per person, payable in advance.

Advance booking essential. To book and to join the mailing list, leave a comment here and I will send you details.

FORWARD NOTICE:
On Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 we are offering a mid week walk for the first time. Legal London will take us into places that are not open to visitors at the weekends and for which we have asked permission to view. The booking form for this walk will be sent out at the beginning of July. The start time will be 10.45 am prompt at Temple Tube station. More details next month!




Walks & Talks for Lipreaders : Shoreditch & Hoxton, London

24 05 2009

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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.