Lip-reading is the primary mode of linguistic communication for thousands of hard of hearing individuals. There are ambiguities in lip reading that make it problematic. Currently available tactile aids to lip reading have the following problems: 1. They do not provide enough information to resolve ambiguities and 2. They are not flexible or convenient to use. In phase 1 we propose to develop an information-rich and flexible lip reading assistive technology and a training program for improving the speed and accuracy of lip reading well beyond 15%. It will be based on tongue-interface technology that has been successfully applied to prototype systems for blind persons and for persons with loss of vestibular function. It will present simple but sophisticated timing and amplitude lip reading cues. The performance of five subjects will be evaluated. Since the presented information will not be word recognition, it will be independent of the speaker and easy for the subjects to learn, and will significantly reduce the ambiguity in lip reading. The phase two proposal will develop a miniature version of the present back-pack size system and will optimize the presentation of speech via a tongue display. Successful completion of the lip reading system may lead to the development of a hearing substitution system for deaf persons. ? ?