People around the country are being challenged to see how they would cope without their hearing to mark Lipreading Awareness Week.
In a bid to raise the profile of lipreading and improve understanding of it Age UK Hearing Aids have created a lip-reading quiz to highlight just how difficult it can be.
While most of us take our ability to hear for granted around 20 per cent of people in the UK are thought to be affected by some form of hearing loss and lip-reading and sign language are major tools for those with hearing difficulties.
In a statement accompanying the quiz, Age UK Hearing Aids said: “Lip-reading involves understanding what people are saying by observing the speaker’s lip movements, which is a significant communication tool for those with little or no hearing.
“A lot of concentration is required when lip-reading, and is a hard skill to master for those who have recently been diagnosed with hearing loss.”
To show just how tricky reading lips can be the quiz - hosted here - offers ten short clips of people speaking and asks the viewer to choose the correct interpretation from three potential phrases.
The charity has also created a list of advice to make life easier for lip readers:
Do not get frustrated. Remain patient and repeat your sentences if necessary, encouraging the lip reader to ask for help if they are still unsure.
You may like to reword your sentence if it was not understood after the first or second instance.
Even if the lip-reader has an assistant, it is still advised that you direct your speech to the person affected by hearing loss.
While speaking out loud may help, added volume does not always add clarity, so please do not shout.
Use your body language and facial expressions to provide extra clues for the lip reader.
Minimise the distractions around you, such as the audio from a radio, flickering images on a television or even excessive decoration in a room.
When out and about with someone who needs to lip-read, make sure to choose places with bright lighting, and pick round tables when eating at restaurants.
Why not learn the basics of sign language to communicate even more clearly?