Next up : What is Cued Speech

What is Cued Speech?

Cued Speech is a visual mode of communication in which mouth movements of speech combine with “cues” to make the sounds (phonemes) of traditional spoken languages look different.  Cueing allows users who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have language / communication disorders to access the basic, fundamental properties of spoken languages through the use of vision.

There are 8 hand shapes and 6 places to touch.

I am not going to write out every detail regarding to Cued Speech.  It is not Sign Language.  Sign Language is own language.  I will do another blog entry about that.  

To learn more about Cued Speech, check out the link below:

National Cued Speech Association

Basically in my terms of explaining Cued Speech it is a visual way to help show phonetics sounds of spoken English or any other language.   

Lip reading is not easy.  You have to concentrate and you have to figure out the pieces of the puzzle to know what the conversation is.   Sometimes I figure it out and sometimes I’m way off topic.  Did you know that words can look the same on the lips? Go stand in the mirror and say the word men, ben and pen without any sound coming from your lips.  Do the words look the same?     Now try the word secretary and cemetery.

Not so easy to tell the difference is it? 

Cued Speech shows the phonetic breakdown of the word.   So men, ben and pen can show the difference of the beginning sound (M, B, and P) as the en sound is the same placement.   The hand shapes represent constant sounds and the placement of the hand goes to represents the vowel sounds.   This is all from my simple explaining.    

Now that I look back on it I can see why the audiologist suggested this to my parents and how I absorbed all the information as best as I could.  Language was the key in their opinion.

Cued Speech is not that well known in as Sign Language is.  For an example,  if you look at movies and tv shows, Sign Language is used.    Cued Speech is not.    I would love to see Cued Speech just known more.  You do not have to use it, just know that it is out there!

It’s just another tool, communication method out there.  Some people out there prefer Sign Language over Cued Speech which is totally fine with me.  If that is what you want then go for it.   Everyone should respect everyone’s choices of how they communicate, period.   I do not believe one method of communication will overtake another method.

When I was younger, I thought my classmates and I were cool because we could Cue and not everyone would know what we were saying.  It was like a code.  I would totally name us:  The Super Cuer Spies!   Kinda geeky huh?

Here are are a few blog entries from Hands and Voices that you might be interested in reading regarding to Cued Speech:

Hands and Voices Blog


Books I have to mention books!  I wish there were more out there.  First book I want to mention is  Choices of Deafness by Sue Schwartz.

What it is about:
From assessment and diagnosis to medical/audiological treatments, and from the latest types of cochlear implants and procedures to education and technology devices, this new edition presents a balance of research, guidance, and insight from experts and families.

Seven new chapters plus a collection of audio files cover:
UNIVERSAL NEWBORN SCREENING (implemented in 38 states, this required screening detects hearing loss much earlier, and has doubled the number of children found to have hearing loss)  AUDITORY NEUROPATHY (a cause of hearing loss where the timing of sound is seriously disrupted, and which has only recently been understood)  GENETIC CAUSES OF DEAFNESS (describes genetic testing and counseling in light of research that shows over 60% of deafness in children is due to genetic or hereditary causes)  THE TRANSFORMATION OF DREAMS (explores a shift in emotional outlook experienced by a parent/clinical psychologist upon learning her child is deaf) IDENTIFYING A PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE (what to look for in an education program for your child in addition to the chosen communication option) COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (services and devices that let deaf people communicate via phone, cell phone, Internet, video) MAKING IT IN COLLEGE (personal accounts of four students about how they communicate and socialize at college) WHAT HEARING LOSS SOUNDS LIKE (a sampling of audio files that simulate what speech sounds like when hearing loss impacts pitch, loudness, and timing).

CHOICES IN DEAFNESS presents five unbiased approaches to communication–Auditory-Verbal, ASL-English Bilingual, Cued Speech, Auditory-Oral, and Total Communication–and provides parents’ first-person accounts of what it’s like to use a specific method.


Another book is Cued Speech and Cued Language for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. 

What it is about:
This much-anticipated scholarly volume promises to be an essential/must-have resource for anyone who is interested in natural language acquisition, the development of reading, and academic achievement of deaf and hard of hearing children. It is a compilation of research and practical applications of cued speech and cued language, authored by 39 authors from nine different fields of study (speech science, hearing science, linguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, cognition, transliteration, computer science, and deaf education) in four countries. This theoretically and empirically based volume is a vital source of information to any advocate, professional, or parent of a deaf child. It promises to be a required book in graduate courses in deaf education programs as well as libraries of schools serving deaf children across the country.






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