Using a lip-speaker / Sign Language interpreter instead of relying on physical equipment

Does anyone use an interpreter for lip-speaking or sign language?

I know this forum is mainly American but wanted other people’s views on using interpreters.

How do you find your clients / colleagues treat you at work, when you use an interpreter? Do they think any little of you?

I know the American System will be different compared to the UK but wanted others people views.

My hearing is better altho not perfect since having surgery but find I still miss things.

I left my Phonak Roger at home one time and really struggled at work because I didn’t have it.

That’s why I thought I’d start using a lip-speaker. In the UK, I can get it funded.

All the years I worked in the post office in America they always had someone there who was trained, doing sign language for the deaf workers. I don’t thing anyone cared one way or the other. Of there were negative remarks made about the deaf workers behind their backs. For some reason a lot of people who can hear find those that can’t hear a major inconvenience



I’m lucky I guess in that when I’ve needed an interpreter then my employer has paid for them. It’s only been on occasions when there is a large meeting with a lot of colleagues attending (100 plus).

It did make me feel isolated at first as I had to sit at the front facing the interpreter and I think I felt that I was a minority. I also felt stigmatised more than ever because of my deafness.

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In the past I struggled to understand people. Was hard of hearing when I started and able to do well in most situations but I had a difficult time of how best to handle it as my hearing declined. As a contract worker it didn’t seem likely the company would pay for an interpreter and couldn’t afford to provide my own.

At my current job, starting from the initial interview I used an interpreter provided by the company. I have interpreters (live or VRI - video remote interpreting) for most meetings and use VRS (video relay sevice through a terp) for all calls. I do speak but that has also become harder for people to understand. Even my wife has trouble - says I slur my words. Lip reading is hit or miss and don’t know I misunderstood so prefer to use type or written when no terp is available.

My colleagues have been accepting of my modes of communication. It was a bit awkward in the beginning as we all figured out the best way to interact but overall it has gone well.

Working from home has been a smooth transition. All interactuon is either email, IM or a Zoom meeting I can dial into using VRS so no real change in how I get my work done.

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In The Highlands (Scotland) population is about 320K there is approximately 5 BSL interpreters, that I am aware of, I know 3 of them personally, but I’m truthfully not sure of any Lip Speakers as such? My wife whom was a Specialist Social for the Deaf (Pan Highland Region) said they did not employ Lip Speakers, but they did have Speech Therapists whom would have had training in Lip Speaking but were not actually qualified… Lip Speakers are most likely as rare as hens teeth and more likely very thin on the ground? In the Highlands once upon a time we had a brilliant department called “Deaf Services” run by Highland Council Social Work, this “Team” had won many awards for their services to the Highland Deaf Community an area approximately the size of Belgium… They had at one time 3 x Specialist Social Workers, about 40 Highly Trained Deaf Support Workers, Sign Language Tutors, Speech Therapists, BSL Interpreters, Service Coordinator, they also had “Night School” Lip Reading Classes & BSL Sign Language Classes and various other Deaf Initiatives, but unfortunately they were TUPE across to “The NHS” just as UK wide austerity kicked in and basically the whole service was slimmed down to such an extent it resembles nothing like its former glory, yes big D & little d were at one time truthfully spoiled in this region… If you can sign, Deaf Services will get you a BSL Interpreter free of charge or maybe through “HM Gov’ Access To Work Program” they are expensive though,13 years ago when I last worked with Deaf Services they cost £25 per hour plus travelling expenses, I am fairly sure that will have gone up! Cheers Kev.

Maybe I am not understanding. (“Lip speaker” is not a thing in the US.)

I have casually used Live Transcribe from Research at Google to “read” speech, and it works OK. link

I forgot it was running while I peeped another app, and told a friend. Here’s what it heard, with what I thought I said:

Runs on Android. Probably sends sound to Google’s all-knowing servers for interpretation. So probably needs a high-speed internet connection. 70 languages. Knows some non-speech sounds: laughter, applause, music. Saves transcripts for days. Says you can text-back (not working here). Even for iPhone users it would be worth buying a 'Droid: Tracfone will sell a phone with 30 days service for under $50.

Lip speakers are professionals who mouth the words that are been said. They use a limited amount of sign to add to what they are mouthing.

I used a lip speaker for a one off event and it was so easy to understand what was being said. It eased a lot of pressure off of me.

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