For many years, when anyone special came for tea, my mother would get the dragon’s breath china out. It wasn’t until I questioned it later that I realised that she was actually saying ‘Granny’s best china’.
Or, remembering when young, learning a poem which exhorted me to pity mice implicitly when I should have been reciting ‘pity my simplicity’. Yes, I did feel a bit simple when I realised that I’d been delivering pleas to nurture the mouse population!
In terms of inconvenience, there are many disabilities that can plague the human being a great deal more than being hard of hearing. However, it must rate as one of the most irritating and exasperating in terms of the confusion it causes.
Both for the listener and the speaker too, who occasionally finds the response to their question as hardly lucid, never mind making sense.
Most people with severe hearing problems probably, without realising it, try to lipread the speaker’s lips which may help. Even the odd word or two, understood correctly, can give context to what is being conveyed in speech, as can facial expressions.
This is yet another reason for hoping Coronavirus or the like never reaches again the proportions it did in 2021/22; it’s almost impossible to pick up any clues from a face protected by a mask.
Lipreading is a technique to aid speech understanding by watching the movement of lips, face and tongue when their accompanying sound is not sufficiently loud or clear to hear.
The Leslie Edwards Trust is offering the opportunity to train as a lipreading tutor by offering a professional qualification which involves a one-year distance learning course.
The cost of course fees, travel and books will be covered, tutors are freelance and paid an hourly rate. The post involves teaching several two-hour sessions weekly.