10 things you did not know about lipreading.

1. There appears to be no scientific basis for the frequently quoted claim that lipreading is only 30% accurate. If you think about it, there are many differences in time, place and ease of understanding. Two lipreaders conversing together would get 100%. Nobody can lipread in the dark. 0%. It isn't even a ballpark figure.

2. There are specialised interpreters called Lipspeakers. They are people who are trained to repeat English in such a way as to be very easy to understand. Mostly you get every word but occasionally they may paraphrase to keep up. They can be booked, for example for your PIP assessment if you don't sign. Quite often they are BSL terps as well although the two skills are separate.

3. Lipreading lessons are available all over the country but because it is so specialised you may have to travel some distance to find a class. There is some doubt about whether these are helpful but people do ask for them quite a lot.

4. If you have some hearing then lipreading and your residual hearing will work together to give you a much better comprehension rate. Any amount of hearing however small adds to the picture of speech that you are getting. It all adds up and it is a good reason for using hearing aids. Put it all together and your life is much easier.

5. You can lipread the TV if the picture is clear enough. A large screen TV is easier than a small one. Now you have an excuse for getting that 60 inch job. News programmes are good lipreading practice because the newsreaders are trained in speaking clearly and they usually face the camera all the time.

6. To maximise your lipreading potential try to make it easy for yourself. For example in a lecture get right down the front, close up. Nobody likes to sit in the very front but you have the best excuse in the world.

Try to arrange things so that you are face to face with other people in a good light. The worst place in the world is a dark nightclub with a band playing in the background. Try and pick a table with a candle...

7. People will forget. Oh yes they do! Even your children will forget to face you and speak clearly. Try to be patient and not throw things at them.

8. Deaf people are usually able to "speak without voice". This is a peculiarly deaf thing and essentially it is 100% lipreading, no sound. Deaf people learn at school to turn off their voice and speak soundlessly. Very useful in a deaf group for making sarcastic remarks about hearing stupidity.

9. Lipreading is often done by hearing people. It isn't a specifically deaf thing. For example many rock musicians are quite good lipreaders because they learn to talk despite the ear shattering noise. Many factory workers rely on lipreading because of noisy machinery. Hearing people often talk to each other through a closed window like a phone booth. A lot of hearing people watch each others faces. That is lipreading.

10. When you make an application for PIP remember that the DWP does not regard lipreading as a reliable means of communication. If you put on your form that you are 100% reliant on lipreading, as many profoundly deaf people are, then you will be treated as if you cannot understand at all. This scores you points because you cannot communicate "safely, repeatably, to a good standard, in a reasonable time for most of your time."