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Lipspeaking FAQ's

What is Lipspeaking?

A Lipspeaker is a hearing person who has been trained to be easy to lipread. Lipspeakers reproduce clearly the shapes of the words and the natural rhythm and stress used by the speaker. They also use facial expression, gesture and, if requested, finger spelling, to aid the lipreader’s understanding.

What is Lipspeaking with Additional Sign?

Some lipspeakers have additional British Sign Language (BSL) skills and can offer lipspeaking with additional sign support, if requested by the lipreader. Lipreading can be very tiring and there are lipspeakers with BSL qualifications ranging from Level 1 through to dual-registered Registered Sign Language Interpreters (RSLI).

Why ALS and ALAS?

There is a growing need to make it clearer and easier for deaf people to book the correct language service professional (LSP). The ALS is now over twenty years old and well established. However, until 2017, there was no way to separate lipspeakers who could sign from those who couldn’t. This meant that if a deaf person booked a lipspeaker, they had no way of knowing if they had any additional sign skills until the day of the booking. 

This Association will make it easier for deaf people to find the support professional that best matches their needs. Of course lipspeakers who satisfy the criteria can be members of both the Association of Lipspeakers (ALS) and the Association of Lipspeakers with Additional Sign (ALAS). 

Do we need ALAS?

The Association of Lipspeakers with Additional Sign (ALAS) was created as a response to the communication needs of deaf people. The Association is in response to the growing demand for communication support in English, with signs borrowed from the complex British Sign Language. You can search the ALAS ‘Directory‘ and locate a lipspeaker with a specific BSL qualification for the first time. 

Is there a 'Lipspeaking with Sign' qualification? 

At present, there is only a ‘Level 3 in Lipspeaking‘ qualification.