Communication support

Booking a lipspeaker: top 10 questions

Have you been asked about booking a lipspeaker but you’re unsure what to do next? Here’s a roundup of our frequently asked questions so you can book with confidence:

1. What is a lipspeaker?

A lipspeaker is a hearing person who relays speech to someone who is deaf or has hearing loss using lip shapes, natural gestures and facial expressions but no voice. They repeat the words as the speaker says them without adding their own personal comments or views.

2. What situations are lipspeakers suitable for?

There are many situations when a lipspeaker will ensure that information is accurately conveyed so there no misunderstandings – medical appointments, religious ceremonies, counselling sessions, job interviews, work meetings, court appearances and more.

Booking a lipspeaker

3. Are lipspeakers available during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, although someone who lipreads might now benefit from a speech-to-text reporter due to the introduction of face coverings. Contact us for advice.

4. What details shall I provide when booking a lipspeaker?

You should provide as much information as possible about your assignment: date, time, duration, number of people requiring support and any specialist terminology likely to be used.

5. How many lipspeakers should I book?

Lipspeakers need a break every 30 minutes in order to stay fully focused. If the assignment is likely to last more than two hours, you should book two lipspeakers so that when one has a break, the other can take over.

6. Should I provide anything in advance?

We recommend you provide any background material to our Communication Support team before the assignment so it can be passed onto the lipspeaker.

7. What is the hourly rate for a lipspeaker?

The minimum booking for a lipspeaker is two to three hours depending on your location and specific requirements. Once we’ve established full details of your assignment, we’ll be able to give you a quote.

8. Is funding available for lipspeakers?

You may be able to apply for the government’s Access to Work scheme. We can explain how it works and direct you to further information.

9. Are the lipspeakers you provide fully qualified?

We only work with professionally registered lipspeakers. They are regulated by the NRCPD, or the SASLI in Scotland. Every lipspeaker we supply is bound by a strict code of practice. This means they must keep all information discussed during the assignment confidential.

10. Do you have an emergency service?

Yes, we have an out-of-hours service that’s available 24 hour a day, 365 days a year. Call 0700 341 8352 to book.

Find out more

Call 0845 685 8000 for more information, or to book a lipspeaker, (Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm), email: communication.services@hearingloss.org.uk, SMS: 07537 410 086 or fill in an enquiry form. We also have an out-of-hours 24/7 service – call 0700 341 8352.

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