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In a message dated 10/7/2009 8:38:51 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, miranda_ijiyemi@ writes:
The other day I followed the sign language translation in church and approached one lady that someone told me is just slightly hard hearing and could lip read. So I ended up speaking just clearly and using about 4 signs in total :-(
It feels scary and interrupting to enter another culture and I'm not sure if Deaf will always appreciate it.
I guess it's similar to approaching Spanish-only speaking and trying out the few Spanish words I know.
The lady encouraged me to sit close to the interpreter and also sign during the songs, like they do.
I will learn some basic sentences like nice to meet you and the like, and take a try next time.
What about lip reading? Is signing necessary when someone can read lips, or should I just accompany the signing with talking?

Dear Miranda,
It varies widely. Some Deaf people read lips very well. Others hardly at all.  My wife can read lips incredibly well. I'm "so so." With hearing aids, a quiet room, no visual distractions, and a conversation partner that is only a few feet away, I can read lips "very well" and catch 95% or more.  Start removing any piece from that puzzle and my ability to read lips goes way down.
So, every Deaf conversation partner will be different.  The more you increase your signing ability, the greater range of partners you will be able to chat with.
Dr. Bill


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