If you need to learn how to read lips – for example, if you experienced a sudden loss of hearing – you can seek out in-person training in lipreading or you may turn to commercial lipreading software. Here’s an overview of some of the more popular lipreading programs.
Hearing Visions is a lipreading software company. Their product “I See What You Say” is available for purchase on Amazon and includes a manual with photos and a one-hour video. The product will help people learn to read lips when either phrases or single words are spoken. The instructional format is clearly presented to learn sound recognition.
A doctor and researcher in Australia, Dr. Mary Allen, developed her own program. Dr. Allen had done a thesis on lipreading with the aid of computers. As a result of her research, she developed a software program for self-instruction. She states that this software was tested on 38 late-deafened adults to gauge its effectiveness. In addition, she also offers a video of an actual lipreading competition. Her other products include a package of 33 photo cards depicting the sounds of speech like vowels and consonants and a poster of all the photo cards.
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Newfoundland and Labrador offers an online course called “Read Our Lips.” It includes eight interactive lessons with captioned videos as well as lip movement practice. Each lesson takes about one to two hours to complete. A free preview of the course is available.
“Read My Lips” is an online collection of videos that teaches lipreading. It’s provided by Deaf Connection, an organization in Scotland that helps adults who are deaf to participate in their communities. Each video discusses a particular speech movement to help recognize a particular letter or combination of letters, first by itself and then in different contexts. The titles are read by the presenter, first silently and without a caption, and then followed by voice and caption to help the viewer get practice.
Learning to Read Lips
How effective is learning to read lips using software? It may depend on the age of the lipreading student. Researchers have found that adults with higher visualspatial working memory, which is the ability to keep track of moving objects, have better success learning to read lips. As visiualspatial memory declines with age, so does the ability to lip read. For children, lipreading abilities are best learned between the ages of seven and 14.