Friday, 19 May 2017

Set to fail...

An ATR response to THIS lip-reading promotion. Please accept as constructive criticism not an attack.

Image result for poor lip-reading
"I think a lot of inspired guesswork is involved in lip-reading, I know it is in my case ! Unfortunately with no base line at lip-reading classes or aims to achieve, it is difficult to suggest lip-reading effectiveness, especially as huge variations of loss exist, and with so few people actually attending classes.  


I don't want to be negative at this assistive mode, but a lot of realities are not mentioned, or, aims developed to address those.  I would want to see lip-reading elevated to proper communication course with exams tests etc to determine attainment levels etc. Treating it as a 'hobby course' demeans the point, as do claims you can appear as a hearing person by its usage, entirely negative as well as encouraging people to lie about their issue..  

LR has limited effectiveness defined by amount of useful hearing you still have, that doesn't take into account that can deteriorate.  Obviously some born deaf have good lip-reading skills, but, they are less effective with hearing people than their own and use familiar approaches other deaf use, they aren't placed in an entirely hearing position to foster that skill, or they fail and revert to manual signing.

The point being LR is to aid people with hearing loss to attain a useful skill. A skill that doesn't appear to have a course or attainment level in the class. They should also be working with clinical psychologists etc not palming the struggling people off to social services.  Those most in need.  At present I just see a class that isn't taking itself seriously and acting more as a 'like with like' mini social club, rather than teaching a serious communication mode to form social relationships outside of those areas.    It is setting up students for disappointment when the class stops.   No-one with real hearing to facilitate. 

From one class to the next nothing changes.  You need conditional training and to be faced with the street, where ideal circumstances are never present. Without a bottom line where is there to go ?  We swap one form of isolation for a cosy other ? If we are all honest LR is an extremely difficult mode to acquire, simply being annoyed because this is being pointed out doesn't address the problem. The fact remains those MOST in need of the skill are not in these classes.  

With a diagnosed hearing loss or hearing  aid, THEN is the time to start making plans, not when you are struggling and looking for a quick cure.... If you rely on residual hearing to attain a skill, what happens when that is no longer functional ? because people are still relying on that.  I've seen students at these classes, told to switch hearing aids off, and a number immediately went into trauma/tearful mode  when it exposed the reality and degree of their loss to others..  It's often first time they are faced with that and realise it is probably a lot worse than even they think it is.

That trauma can multiple as years go on, and as the aids no longer are able to do what they did.  There is no planning or thought going into lip-reading tuition frankly.  You open a class 15-20 turn up, but your local statistics can suggest maybe 5,000 with hearing loss reside around the class catchment area, so what is it THEY are doing ? 

They are refusing to to accept the reality ! relying on hearing aids still, family help etc, and moving away from interactions, to lessen stress levels, i.e. until the reality kicks them up the bum and the class can no longer help them. 

10m with no plan, and a random set up that eventually may well fail, we deserve better."

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