Cued Speech makes spoken languages visible. It
provides cued hearing, cued speechreading, cued phonemes and cued languages. Cued Speech
is compatible with auditory/oral, bilingual, and total communication philosophies;
communication choice is not an either/or decision, but a purposeful selection for each
Cued Speech is a visual communication system which, in American
English, uses the natural mouth movements of speech in combination with eight handshapes
(which distinguish consonant phonemes) in four different locations near the mouth (to
distinguish vowel phonemes). The cues added to the mouth movements make all the sounds of
spoken language look different. Consonants are "cued" in vowel locations,
allowing the cues to be synchronized with the spoken language, syllable by syllable.
Literacy is the original and primary goal of Cued Speech. It was
developed in 1966 by R. Orin Cornett, Ph.D. at Gallaudet University, to enable hearing
parents to communicate in their native spoken language and allow their children who are
deaf to "see-hear" that language and pick it up naturally, similarly to children
who are hearing. Cued Speech has been adapted to more than 50 languages and dialects.
For children whose parents are deaf and whose native language is
American Sign Language, Cued Speech can be used at school by teachers whose native
language is English to facilitate the child's acquisition of English as a second language.
Children who acquire language through Cued Speech generally attain
equivalent language and reading levels as if they were not deaf. Most students who use
Cued Speech enroll in regular classes, preschool through college, and make use of Cued
Speech transliterators, who provide inclusion with EASE (Equal Access to the Sound
Because Cued Speech is an integrated multi-sensory system, its use
supports auditory discrimination, speechreading, articulation, and phonics instruction for
children and adults with a variety of hearing, speech, and language needs. Personal
accounts and research indicate that children and youth who are accustomed to Cued Speech
and then receive a cochlear implant are able to expedite the transition to the phonemes
they receive through the implant. Implant users of all ages appreciate the assistance of
Cued Speech in difficult listening situations.
Free first-year memberships for families new to Cued Speech, information, learning
opportunities and publications are available through:
National Cued Speech Association's Information Services
23970 Hermitage Road
Cleveland, OH 44122-4008
The Association co-sponsors several family learning vacations annually and has a
bimonthly newsletter "On Cue." There are a number of web sites. Official
information and self-instruction lessons are available at http://web7.mit.edu/cuedspeech/.