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Lipspeaker nominated for Communication Professional of the Year Awards
3:20pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
A FORMER midwife who trained to be a lipspeaker after being unable to communicate with deaf women in her care has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Lesley Weatherson from Fareham is a nominee for Communication Professional of the Year in the 2013 Signature Annual Awards.
Signature is a national charity which campaigns to improve the standards of communication for deaf people in the UK, and is also a leading awarding body for qualifications in deaf communications.
Every year it honours those who are striving to break down the barriers between deaf and hearing people, with 2013’s glittering award ceremony taking place on November 15 at London’s historic Bloomsbury Ballroom.
Lesley has worked as a lipspeaker for 15 years, a role in which she has excelled, providing high quality communication support. She is registered with the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD) as a lipspeaker and a notetaker and is qualified in British Sign Language.
Lesley said: “During my time as a nurse and midwife I became increasingly frustrated with my own inability to communicate with some of the deaf women under my care. Rapport within the profession is so important, especially with women who are in labour.
“So it was crucial that I could effectively communicate with deaf patients.
“I decided therefore that I would learn to sign, however it didn’t occur to me that not every deaf person used BSL. I was told by a deaf lady that I would be very good at lipspeaking, so I gave it a go, I would never have imagined that lipspeaking would become my full-time profession.
“To be nominated for an award of this stature, for the work I have been doing over the past 15 years, is an honour.”
A lipspeaker is a hearing person who has been professionally trained to be easy to lip-read. Lipspeakers also use facial expression, gesture, and finger spelling to aid the lipreader’s understanding.
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