Deaf and hearing-impaired people throughout the UK should have free access to lip-reading classes, a Labour MP has said.
Introducing his Lip-Reading Bill in the Commons on 10 May 2011, Ian Lavery said: "There appears to be a postcode lottery in the UK for lip-reading classes. Surely this cannot be acceptable.
"The benefits of someone learning to lip read are well proven, and assist greatly in employment, in health and indeed in life skills.
"From my experience it is clear there is a demand for lip-reading classes and urgent action must be taken to halt the current decline in the number of classes available. In all of our constituencies and in all of our communities there are individuals and families who would benefit hugely from the provision of this type of service."
Mr Lavery said one in seven people in the UK suffered from hearing loss, amounting to nine million people.
His ten minute rule bill received an unopposed first reading but is unlikely to become law without government support.