The lipreading scores are in!

Remember last week’s post about a lipreading challenge? Cam Robbins (Interactive Marketing Manager here at Easter Seals Headquarters) and I took the challenge, and, as promised, we are here to report our scores.


Score: 26 out of 55 correct


I have a diagnosed learning disability (LD), so you’d think with my LD, I would know better than to assume anyone can lipread. Sometimes I just forget.

I have a lot of trouble with accents (enough trouble that sometimes I need captions for movies. The web site with the lipreading challenge is British, not American. As if lipreading isn’t hard enough to begin with! I got 26 out of 55 right, and according to the website, that’s actually really good. Say what? I don’t think mom would have been pleased if I ever came home with a 47% on a test.

I looked at each video more than once (this felt like cheating after the third time) and even though it was a multiple choice question, and I had 4 options to choose from, I got fewer than half of them right. Here are my reactions to specific challenges:

  • Third question. I… what? This woman spoke more with her teeth than her lips, so it was a lot harder to understand. I had to totally guess on that one.
  • Fourth question. Now I have the opposite problem. This woman barely moved her lips. I watched this one again and again and again, and I had no idea. Had to resort to another process of elimination.
  • Seventh question: I groaned when I opened this one. He had a mustache, and a beard! I had to guess this one because I just couldn’t read his lips at all. Facial hair and lip reading do not get along well.
  • Tenth question. This woman appeared really excited by the way she moved around so much. I could tell she had a thick accent, but that was about all. I could only get the first part of what she was saying and had to guess at the rest.

Overall, it was a frustrating and eye-opening challenge for me, so let’s see how Cam did.


Score: 44 out of 55 correct


The challenge was multiple-choice (it gave you answers to choose from after every challenge), but I wanted to keep the challenge legit, so at the start I didn’t read the answers before I watched the video. On my own I could only catch one or two words on the first video I watched, and there was no way I could have figured out the entire phrase. So, I read the answers and used process of elimination.

I couldn’t always decide between two answers on the rest of the videos, and when that happened I’d watch and re-watch the video until I decided what they were saying. “Boy” instead of “joy,” for example.

When I got to question 10 and saw that the woman on that video was really excited, I figured her emotional state would make it easier to interpret what she was saying.

I figured wrong: her excitement actually made it more difficult to figure out where the words began and ended. I watched some of these videos many, many times, but of course in real life you can’t watch and re-watch a conversation. I feel like I was cheating. I’m pretty sure I’d fail lipreading in an actual conversation. Not being able to understand word-for-word or even half of what people were saying was frustrating and surprisingly tiring.

*Mac here again. I challenge you to take the lipreading challenge and leave your score in the comments! What surprised you about lip reading? Which challenge did you find particularly easy? Which ones were difficult? Don’t be shy, share your experience. Read my lips: we want to hear from you!


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