lip reading, method by which the deaf are able to read the speech of others from the movements of the lips and mouth. It is sometimes referred to as speech reading, which technically also includes the reading of facial expressions and body language. Lip reading is a medium of education in many schools for deaf children (see deafness). It came into wide use after World War I in the rehabilitation of shell-shocked, or otherwise deafened, soldiers.
See publications of the National Association of Hearing and Speech Agencies (formerly American Hearing Society); O. M. Wyatt, Teach Yourself Lip-Reading (1961, repr. 1969); E. Hazard, Lipreading for the Oral Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Person (1971); J. Jeffers, Speechreading (1971).