Student shortage threatens deaf classes

A lip-reading class for the deaf and hard of hearing is on the brink of closure because of a shortage of students.

The Wednesday class at the Jewish Deaf Association in North Finchley launched two years ago after Barnet College ended its longstanding courses following funding cutbacks. JDA chiefs believe the issue is not a lack of need, but that "not enough people know about our classes".

Executive director Sue Cipin said lip-reading was vital to people with hearing impairment.

"Without help, they become isolated, left out of conversations and meetings, lacking in confidence and unable to cope with many of life's daily challenges.

"As well as being a lifeline, the classes are hugely enjoyable - and for someone who has become socially isolated, being able to discuss common issues with people in relaxed surroundings means a great deal."

    Last updated: 12:12pm, December 9 2010