Healthy Living

Experience The World Through The Ears Of A Person Who Is Deaf

Lipreading is harder than you'd think.

"Communication is never a given," explains Rachel Kolb, a Rhodes Scholar who was born deaf, in the short above from Little Moving Pictures.

The video, which explores human connection from the perspective of a person with hearing loss, is based on Kolb's long essay, "Seeing at the Speed of Sound." Kolb communicates how difficult it can be for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to read lips, and how gratifying it is when a connection is made.

While many people who don't rely on lipreading assume it is similar to reading a book, as Kolb says, the human face is not a book. The words that come out of a person's mouth are not entirely legible, and this makes lipreading a challenge. "Even the most skilled lipreaders in English, I have read, can discern an average of 30 percent of what is being said," she wrote. Imagine, for a moment, being able to comprehend only 30 percent of what a peer is saying.

You'll want to watch Kolb talk about what it's like for a person who is deaf to live in a primarily hearing world. It'll give you a whole new perspective.

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