Studies show that only about 30% to 45% of the English language is discernible through lip-reading. This means that more than half of a conversation where a Deaf individual is relying on reading lips is based on contextualization and guessing to keep up.
Reading lips is not something that Deaf people can do, it is something that Deaf people have done and sometimes are forced to rely on in order to exist and participate in a conversation where signing is not an option. Most people cannot read lips effectively because it is impossible to read lips 100% accurately. Try it for yourself!
Since so many words read similarly on lips, it can quickly become taxing on both the eyes and brain to correctly process what is being said. Additionally, it leads to miscommunication that can be easily avoided by having an interpreter present or available during a discussion. If it is just a quick exchange, writing out a note can be more reliable, but still not the best method for communication. To find out more or to request interpreting services, click here.