Friday, June 23, 2017

Everyday Uses of Echolocation and Lip Reading

            This book helped me place the concepts discussed into real life scenarios. I have heard of these concepts before in many classes but did not think they were as simple and commonly used as demonstrated in this book. Things like echolocation and lip reading were broken down and explained through examples that show how we use these concepts daily. An experiment was conducted to demonstrate walking down a hall and using nothing but your sense of hearing to know when you reached the end or how to navigate walking into a noisy room. I see this experiment almost every day since people are always texting and walking with their head down, rarely looking up from their phone. Although they have the choice to peek up occasionally, they still choose to rely on their ears to let them know when they should turn or stop walking. People don’t even realize they are using what appears to be irrelevant sounds to process and make a motor decision so quickly that it becomes second nature.

           Lip reading is also used quiet often, especially in loud areas. When I used to bartend they would explain to us that if it was very loud and we knew we could not hear the customer to read their lips as they ordered so we not have to keep asking them what they said. When reading their lips, you also can read their face. At my current job, I interact with many individuals who only know Spanish, so when they try and speak to me in English it is difficult to understand the exact words they were saying. Although I do not know exactly what they are saying, by reading their facial expressions I can understand the context of their statement and possibly put together what they are trying to say to me or at least know if I should act happy or sad! Both examples do take practice though, they are not something you can learn overnight; which is why kids (who are on their phone more often) can navigate while texting better than their parents can and more experienced bartenders can get more orders correct than new inexperienced bartenders. These techniques do take practice but when that is your only option you will learn quickly. The video below shows some examples of really bad lip reading!


  1. Giana,
    I find it interesting that you were taught to lip read during bar tending. I think it is a great strategy because of how noisy it can get. I find myself lip reading when someone is talking in a low pitch or far away from me. It makes understanding easier, and not having to ask what did you say a million times.

  2. My boyfriend is hard of hearing as a result of a military injury and often relies on lip reading rather than having people repeat themselves over and over. He also uses facial expressions as a crutch. Also, I took American Sign Language for 2 years in college and it was so interesting to learn that it was equally important to use facial expressions as well as gestures to properly communicate.