Benefits of lipreading

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As part of National Lipreading Awareness Week, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is inviting Borders residents with hearing loss to discover the life-changing benefits of learning to lipread by joining one of the classes currently running throughout the region.

Led by the Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults (ATLA), the week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of lipreading and encourage people to attend classes in their local community.

Classes are run by qualified lipreading teachers, many of whom have hearing loss themselves. As well as providing tips and techniques, the sessions can help people to communicate at home, at work and in social situations. Information about equipment and services is also available along with the opportunity for people with different levels of hearing loss to meet and share experiences. The classes are friendly, fun and free of charge.

Councillor Frances Renton, SBC’s Executive Member for Social Work and Housing said: “Lipreading is a crucial skill for people with hearing loss and the benefits of attending a lipreading class are many, from boosting self esteem to giving people the confidence to live life fully.

“As one person attending a class has said, going along has shown her that she is not alone and that there are other people facing the same issues as she is on a day to day basis. More importantly, she has found support and friendship by attending and I would encourage anyone who thinks they might benefit to get in touch and see what support is available.”

Classes are currently available as follows:

· Mondays, Kelso Hospital, Inch Road - 10am-12 noon (mixed ability)

· Tuesdays, Kenmore Hall, Jedburgh - 10am-12 noon (beginners)

· Thursdays, Hawick Community Hospital - 10am-12 noon (mixed ability).

From 1 October, additional classes will run every Thursday in the Seminar Room, Hay Lodge Health Centre, Peebles from 10am-12 noon.

For more information, contact the Council’s Sensory Services Team by phone: 01896 826272, SMS text: 07747 456831 or email: sensoryservices@scotborders.gcsx.gov.uk