Using Lipspeakers

Always remember that:

– A lipspeaker is completely neutral
– A lipspeaker works in total confidence
– A lipspeaker is a professional communicator through which the message is passed in a clearly lipreadable way.

The lipspeaker uses the flow, rhythm and phrasing of natural speech and repeats the stress as used by the speaker but without voice. Messages that are too fast for lipreading may have to be pared down by the lipspeaker. The lipspeaker will use some fingerspelling if the lipreader requests this.

Some lipspeakers have British Sign Language (BSL) skills and can be asked to provide lipspeaking with sign support. Please make sure you specify this request when booking.

You should arrive early so that you can choose where to sit and explain any particular needs you may have to the lipspeaker.. It will also give you time to get used to your lipspeaker and give the lipspeaker an opportunity to familiarise themselves with your voice.


– YOU are the person in control
– A lipspeaker does not act on your behalf
– A lipspeaker does not ask questions for you
– If you do not understand something ask the SPEAKER to repeat or rephrase it, not the lipspeaker.

Appropriate situations for using a lipspeaker:

  • Further and higher education
  • Training courses
  • Job interviews
  • Workshops, seminars and conferences
  • Telephone work
  • Business/work meetings; Committee meetings; Association meetings
  • Legal work: solicitor/client meetings; police enquiries and interviews; court appearances
  • Parent/teacher meetings
  • Social services
  • Hospital consultations; out-patient clinics; in-patient support
  • Union meeting/conferences; political meetings


Lipspeaking and the lipspeaker

An appropriate lipspeaking service gives people equal access to information. If you are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and require lipspeaking support, please ask for it.

Who uses Lipspeakers?

Lipspeakers are mainly used by deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people. Hearing people may also use lipspeakers to ensure clear communication with lipreaders.

Where do they work?

Lipspeakers work in a wide variety of settings in which it may be difficult to lipread the speaker directly. The level of lipspeaker you require depends on the nature of the assignment and the speed and complexity of the language used.