Communicating using speech

Many people with complex disabilities, such as a sight and hearing loss, particularly if they have acquired the conditions later in life, communicate using speech.

Clear speech

Speaking clearly is one of the most effective and common ways of communicating. If you have, for example, a hearing loss, it’s important that people speak to you clearly, don’t shout and don’t talk too slowly.


Lipreading involves watching the lip shapes, gestures and facial movements of the person you’re talking to so that you get a better understanding of what they are saying.

It’s a method commonly used by people with, for example, some sight and an acquired hearing loss.


Tadoma involves placing your thumb on a speaker’s lips and spreading your fingers along their face and neck.

Communication is transmitted through the jaw movements, vibrations and facial expressions of the speaker. There are variations in the hand positioning, and it is a method that can be used alongside any residual hearing you may have.

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