As a Deaf woman, who began losing my hearing early in my life, I rely on technology or interpreters when dealing with hearing people. In a perfect situation for me, everyone uses American Sign Language.
Two questions I am constantly asked are:
- Do I read Braille? (Yes, this is a very common question for deaf people!)
- Do read lips?
Movies and popular culture has the average person thinking everyone can read lips just like James Bond; from across a crowded room and in forty-seven different languages.
That is simply not true. There are people, such as my friend TW, who has spent a lifetime learning to speech read (the new term for lip reading) – literally over five decades worth of practice and study.
The attached video (https://www.facebook.com/wearewisdo/videos/924184814390763/) provides real information about speech reading. Copy and past or go to my Facebook page to watch.
So the next time you meet a D/deaf or Hard of Hearing person, you might what to reconsider before you ask, “Can you read lips?” or “Do you read Braille?”
My response is usually, “NO!” with an evil smile, then I sign “DO YOU KNOW SIGN LANGUAGE?” They usually turn and run away.
Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”