Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What is... Cued Speech?

R. Orin Cornett created cued speech in 1966 while serving as vice president of Gallaudet University. Over the years, many in the deaf community have resisted the system because they see it as an affront to the place American Sign Language plays as a central part of Deaf Culture. But advocates counter that the main purpose of cued speech is literacy not speech and that it more clearly conveys English that ASL. With eight visual cues it utilizing hand shapes to make lip reading easier. The system has recently gained support through the federal No Child Left Behind Law with funding aimed at improving reading scores. Here are some Cued Speech facts.

· Cued Speech is a phonetically-based way to teach spoken English to deaf children
· Created by Gallaudet University Vice President R. Orin Cornett in 1966
· Uses eight visual cues utilizing hand shapes to make lip reading easier
· The shape of the hand represents a consonant sound, while the position indicates a vowel
· Many parents can become fluent with cuing in about six months
· Most "cuers" are concentrated on the East Coast
· The system has been modified for 67 different languages
· Sarina Roffe is the current president of the National Cued Speech Association
· A 2005 survey found less than 200 of 37,500 deaf and hard-of-hearing students in US elementary and secondary schools used it as their primary mode of communication with teachers
· Only a few thousand deaf Americans use cued speech regularly
· There are only about 100 certified cued speech transliterators in the US
· Many in the Deaf Community view it as a threat to American Sign Language and Deaf Culture in general

1 comment:

Elizabeth Richardson, MS said...

Cued Speech is a phonemically based system of communication that helps provide access to English and other Cued languages by filling in information that may be unclear to the speech-reader.
Shannon Howell is the current President of the National Cued Speech Association. Sarina Roffe is the current Executive Director of the National Cued Speech Association. They are both parents of Cuers.
While many adult Cuers also use American Sign Language, Cued Speech allows them to understand English and other Cued languages.