One of my Constituents has brought to my attention the issue of a lack of hard of hearing and lip-reading classes in the Greater Manchester area. She is a member of a lip-reading class which was on Mauldeth Road, but has now closed down. They need funding to start somewhere new. She is very deaf and needs to keep up with the lip-reading training.
The Association of Teachers of Lip-reading to Adults (ATLA) say the only remaining class in the Greater Manchester area is in Sale. The Trafford Hard of Hearing Group's primary function is to provide free lip-reading classes for people who have hearing loss. As the name suggests, they cater primarily for residents in the Trafford area but do have members from further afield. The Group was formed when lip-reading classes at the local C of E ceased to be subsidised because lip-reading was no longer deemed a "life skill". It is now categorised a "recreational" skill.
The Trafford Hard of Hearing Group rely entirely upon grants from various sources to fund their activities. They engage the services of a professionally qualified lip-reading tutor and currently run two levels of courses (beginners and intermediate). These are held weekly at the venue in Sale which is easily accessible by public transport. They rent the room from VCAT (Voluntary & Community Action in Trafford) who have provided invaluable help in identifying potential funding sources. Trafford Hard of Hearing currently has a waiting list, which goes to show just how much demand is failing to meet supply! Please see the link below for more information:
A campaign by Action on Hearing Loss – Read my Lips - focuses on raising awareness of the benefits of lip-reading classes, and aims to increase provision of classes at little or no expense to the individual.
I feel that positive action is required in order to address this lack of central funding. Lip reading classes address so many issues faced by those who have hearing loss.
With thanks to Lip-reading Tutor, Ron Rolph, for helping to provide information to investigate this issue further.