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Spotlight on... Wendy

Wendy talks about how coming to our lipreading classes has given her renewed confidence for everyday life.

Wendy Spotlight

"I'm Wendy and I go to Broxburn lipreading class.  To convey what lipreading means to us - it's a life saver.  I started going deaf 15 to 20 years ago with it steadily getting worse and withdrew into myself as I didn't have confidence.  This is what lipreading classes are about - they teach lipreading and that it's important to recognise lips and different consonants etc, But it's the fact that they go through situations, say going to the doctors, hairdressers or being in a situation where you don't hear and giving you the confidence as they've gone through it with you step by step. 

"We weren't non-hearing from a young age and you rely on hearing so much.  You never think about not being able to hear.  My husband of 40 years still stands with his back to me and talks.  The light is off and he talks to me.  He lives with this every day of life and still can't get it right, so what hope does someone that doesn't have something to do with hard of hearing people have?  I have to be able to see them. 

"Lipreading classes are about building self-confidence.  Two years ago I couldn't have sat here and done this and I still feel nervous now.  It's a life saver and given me the confidence to go shopping on my own and say, 'I'm deaf and need to see your lips' or 'is your 'T' system working?' (mostly not!).  I used to just shuffle in and out quickly and hated every minute but now I can do what everyone else does.  If I'm not in the mood I don't bother, but when I am I go out and do what a hearing person does.  Lipreading classes give us back our life and confidence to carry on with life. " 

Wendy gave this talk at ABE's Lipreading Open Day at Strathbrock Partnership Centre, Broxburn on 9 September 2014. For more about our lipreading service click here.