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Resources to Develop Speechreading Skills

What is Speechreading?
Speechreading (often called lipreading) is the ability to perceive speech by: (1) watching the movements of a speaker's mouth, (2) by observing all other visible clues including facial expressions and gestures, and (3) using the context of the message and the situation. Used to some extent by everyone, speechreading enhances communication in noisy situations--such as a noisy airplane, subways, rock concerts, under a hair dryer--when a message cannot be understood without seeing the speaker's face. For individuals with hearing loss, however slight, the development of speechreading skills can augment communication received through diminished hearing. A hearing aid does not eliminate the need to speechread, but rather requires the user to combine hearing and seeing. Listening and speechreading work together.

Part I identifies videotapes, other resources, and books providing speechreading practice, discussions of strategies for speechreaders and suggestions for speechreaders who want to encourage speakers to become more "readable." Part II offers some suggestions for individuals trying to locate classes near them. Part III provides complete addresses for videotape sources. Information on costs of videotapes and books is available directly from the publishers.


A.  DVDs

I See What You Say

DVD with book  2006

New Second edition.  Self-help lipreading program.  DVD with interactive manual.  Fun, innovative, and easy to use speechreading course enhances communication for hard of hearing people.  This excellent tool aids speech discrimination, and helps compensate for distortion and noisy environments.  Clearly presented instruction with a variety of speakers and extensive practice activities.  Included are tests to show progress, and guidelines for families of the hard of hearing.  One hour video.  60 page manual with photos.  Compatible with computers or DVD players.  Recommended by Hearing Loss Journal. 

Lipreading Made Easy
Beta, VHS 1986 (?)
Eighteen lessons that may be used in conjunction with the textbook of the same title for at-home practice. Alexander Graham Bell Association.

Read My Lips
Beta, VHS 6 videocassettes, 52 to 56 mins. each, 1988
Developed by a clinical audiologist, these speechreading practice tapes progressively lead students in exercises from basic common words, such as the months and days of the week, to more complex phrases and sentences, as in lengthy conversations. Each exercise is followed by a pause for the viewer to "get" or guess the proper words. Then, the correct word, phrase, or sentence is flashed in caption form before proceeding to the next exercise. Speechreading Laboratory

Speechreading Series
VHS, 1990
A series of self-instructional videotapes providing speech reading practice for everyday situations (shopping, banking, postal services) and on-the-job situations (work instructions, promotions, raises, appointments). Each videotape includes worksheets that vary in difficulty, scoring directions, and suggestions for individual instruction in speechreading. Educational Productions

Speechreading: Survival on the Job and Social Situation Sentences
VHS, 11 videotapes, 39 to 61 mins. each, 1987
This series of 11 videotapes, useful for individual or group instruction, contains seven videotapes of everyday sentences on topics such as shopping, banking, transportation and four videotapes of job-related social sentences including topics such as meeting deadlines, promotions, and break time. Worksheets for each videotape allow individuals to progress through levels of speechreading skill at an individual pace. Instruction is self-directed and thus appropriate for home practice.

Speechreading Strategies
VHS, 3/4-inch U-matic, 1988
This videotape teaches speechreading strategies through three real-life situations: checking out books at the library; meeting someone for the first time; and purchasing a plane ticket. Viewers first see the consequences of not using strategies in these communication situations; the same situations are then dramatized with appropriate strategies.

Each segment is captioned and dramatized for unique communication skills: Communication--The Library is for deaf people with good speechreading and speaking skills; Hello, Do I Know You? is for people with intermediate/ average speechreading and speech skills; I'd Like to Fly is for viewers with basic speechreading and speech skills, and who use some writing for conversational communication. Educational Productions.

B. Other Resources
Read My Lips: The Wild Party Game of Unspoken Words
This is a fast-moving parlor game in which players silently mouth words and phrases for their partners to guess--to speechread. A 20-second time limit on each turn keeps the game moving. The game-style approach will appeal not only to hearing impaired people but also to hearing relatives and friends. A version for teens is also available.

The manufacturer can provide information about availability in stores. Pressman Toy Corporation.

C. Resources on Speechreading Instruction
Cherry, Rochelle, and Rubinstein, Adrienne. 1988. Speechreading instructions for adults: Issues and approaches. Volta Review, 90, 289-306.

Hull, Raymond. 1976. A linguistic approach to the teaching of speech-reading: Theoretical and practical concepts. Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, 9, 14-19.

Kopra, L.L., Dunlop, R.J., Kopra, M.A. & Abrahamson, J.E. 1985. Computer-assisted instruction in lipreading with a laser videodisc interactive system. Paper presented at the computer conference of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. New Orleans, LA.

Sims, Donald G. 1988. Video methods for speechreading instruction. Volta Review, 90(5), 273-288.

Tye-Murray, N., Tyler, Richard S., Bong, Brian, Nares, Teresa. 1988.Computerized laser videodisc programs for training speechreading and assertive communication behaviors. Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, 21, 143-152.

Williams, Carol L. 1994. SEE/HEAR: An Aural Rehabilitation Training Manual. Washington, DC: Alexander Graham Bell Association.

D. Selected Books
Auerbach, Jill. 1984. One-to-one lipreading lessons for adults. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher.

Broberg, Rose F. 1984. The lipreaders' calendar. Washington, D.C.: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, Inc.

Deyo, David. 1984. Speechreading in context: Functional activities for student practice. Washington, DC: Pre-College Programs, Gallaudet College.

Erber, Norman P. 1993. Communication and Adult Hearing Loss. Washington, DC: Alexander Graham Bell Association.

Erber, Norman P. 1988. Communication therapy for hearing-impaired adults. Washington, DC: A.G. Bell Association for the Deaf.

Erickson, Joan G. 1989. Speechreading: An aid to communication, (2nd Ed.). Danville, IL: Interstate Printer and Publishers.

Greenwald, Audrey E. 1984. Lipreading made easy. Washington, DC: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, Inc.

Jeffers, Janet, and Barley, Margaret. 1971. Speechreading. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher.

Kaplan, Harriet, Bally, Scott, and Garretson, Carol. 1987. Speechreading: A way to improve understanding, (2nd Ed.). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Marcus, Irving. Your eyes work for you: A self-help course in speechreading. Bethesda, MD: Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc.

Ordman, Kathryn A. and Ralli, Mary Pauline. 1976. What people say: The Nitchie school basic course in lipreading. Washington, DC: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.

Pluznik, Nehama and Sobel, Rochelle. 1968. Messy Monsters, Jungle Joggers, and Bubble Baths. Washington, DC: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. (For elementary school students.)


  • an otolaryngologist or audiologist
  • a local hearing and speech center (or league or guild for hard of hearing people)
  • a state (local) speech and hearing professional association
  • a university training hospital or medical center with audiology or speech pathology programs
  • senior centers
  • a reference librarian at a local library
  • an Easter Seal Society office
  • state department of education
  • state commission/office for deaf and hard of hearing people
  • Alexander Graham Bell Association


Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
3417 Volta Place NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-5221 TTY
(202) 337-5220 Voice
(202) 337-8314 Fax
Email: infot@agbell.org 
Website: www.agbell.org

Educational Productions
7101 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 700
Bethesda, MD  20814
(800) 950-4949 
(301) 634-0826 Fax
Email: custserv@edpro.com
Website: www.edpro.com 

Gallaudet University Press
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 651-5488 TTY/Voice
(202) 651-5489 Fax
Email: gupress@gallaudet.edu
Website: gupress.gallaudet.edu

League for the Hard of Hearing
50 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(917) 305-7999 TTY
(917) 305-7700 Voice
(917) 305-7888 Fax
Email: info@lhh.org
Website: www.lhh.org

Pressman Toy Corporation
121 New England Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854
(732) 562-1590 Voice
(732) 562-8407 Fax
Website: www.pressmantoy.com

Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue,  Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-2248 TTY/Voice
(301) 913-9413 Fax
Website: www.hearingloss.org 

Speech Reading Laboratory, Inc.
P.O. Box 31882
Edmond, OK 73003-0032
(800) 433-6370 Voice
Website: speechreadinglaboratory.com