Free lip reading classes in Sussex - here's how to get involved

Sarah Groves
Sarah Groves

A hard of hearing woman from Haywards Heath is running free taster lip reading classes across Sussex during Lipreading Awareness Week.

Sarah Groves, a 45-year-old qualified lip reading teacher, has had a hearing loss for 13 years, and wears a BiCros hearing aid which broadcasts sound from her deaf ear to her hearing ear.

She said: "At around six months into my pregnancy I began to experience balance issues and kept falling over and I had what I thought was a typical cold.

"When it went I realised I couldn’t hear in one ear. I had to wait until I had had my child before I could undergo any investigation into what had happened.

"An MRI scan was inconclusive and my diagnosis was a permanent sudden hearing loss due to a viral infection of the inner ear structure."

The lip reading classes will take place during lipreading awareness week, which runs from September 9 to September 14.

Lip reading is done by watching the movements made by the lips, tongue, jaw and facial muscles as people talk.

In the free taster classes, people will learn what individual sounds look like, which sounds are easy, more difficult, and almost impossible to see, and which sounds sound different but look the same.

Learners will observe the lip shape on the tutor, and on other learners in the group before working through short tasks to practice looking for lip shapes, and exercises are delivered entirely without voice.

Free beginner lipreading taster sessions will be held at:
Rawson Hall, Bolney, on September 9 from 10.30am to 12pm

Aspire Sussex, Marle Place, Burgess Hill, on September 11 from 11am to 12pm and 1pm to 2pm

Allmond Centre, Cowfold, on Friday 14 September from 10.30am to 12pm

Improver taster sessions will be held at Rawson Hall on September 9 from 6.45pm to 8.45pm.

Places are limited due to venue sizes, so to book text Sarah on 07944 388 597.

For more information on lip reading, visit the Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults (ATLA) website here.