MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, is backing a charity’s call for accessible lipreading classes in Stockton so that people with hearing loss can learn this life-changing skill.
The MP gave his support to Action on Hearing Loss’s campaign to ensure people with a hearing loss have better access to classes teaching lipreading, which can improve communication and help people with hearing loss to live full and independent lives.
Lipreading is a vital communication skill which improves the overall management of hearing loss, reduces social isolation, and helps people to cope in the workplace during meetings and when talking to clients and customers.
During the charity’s parliamentary event marking the launch of their new report, Not Just Lip Service, Mr Cunningham watched a short film which tested his ability to lipread and demonstrated how important the skill is when you have a hearing loss. Following the airing of the film, he discussed lipreading and key recommendations from the report with Action on Hearing Loss.
“I saw first-hand how important lipreading is to people with a hearing loss. It’s vital that these classes are available for people that need them, as they can really help improve their confidence in conversation. I will be urging my local Health and Wellbeing Boards to ensure that there are accessible lipreading classes in Stockton, and to consider lipreading as an important part of the rehabilitative pathway for people with hearing loss.”
Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss Paul Breckell said: “Our new research clearly shows, for the first time, that the difficult to learn skill of lipreading can greatly improve the capability of people with hearing loss to follow conversations with friends, family and colleagues. Lipreading has enormous life-changing benefits for many people who are deaf or hard of hearing by preventing social isolation, increasing confidence and helping people to stay in work.”