A lipspeaker is a hearing person trained to repeat a speaker’s message to a deafened person who relies on lipreading to receive the message.
The lipspeaker will not use their voice, unless asked to support residual hearing, but produce the shape of the words, the flow and rhythm and phrasing of natural speech and repeat and stress words in line with the speaker.
The lipspeaker will use facial expression, natural gesture and fingerspelling to back up and aid the lip readers understanding. Many lipspeakers have the ability to use sign language, a few are also qualified sign language interpreters.
Lipspeakers can be the choice for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who generally have good English skills and use lipreading as their first means of communication. Lipspeakers will be employed within workplace environments, Education or training, Medical environments, Theatre or TV, Social Services, Coaching or therapy, the list continues. When booking a lip speaker you must consider the duration of the booking and if it is a specialist area; two lipspeakers will be required in most instances.
The role is varied and interesting; Lipspeakers work to a professional code of ethics and conduct and will treat information with the strictest confidence.