National Cued Speech Association

The Inclusion of Cued Speech in an Auditory-Verbal Environment

A Position Statement of the National Cued Speech Association

Cued Speech provides complete visual access to phonemic information. Auditory-Verbal therapy supports the development of auditory skills. Therefore, Cued Speech should be considered a part of an auditory-verbal approach. Cued information supports the development of auditory perception, discrimination, and comprehension, and it clarifies potentially ambiguous information.

With consistent and appropriate use of hearing aids, cochlear implants , and/or other technologies, many individuals have more access to auditory information than before. However, the degree to which an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing can comprehend auditory information is unpredictable and inconsistent.

Early, accurate, and consistent cueing with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing enables them to develop language, which is processed in the auditory cortex of the brain. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research has proven that deaf cuers process cued language in the auditory cortex. This is also consistent with research showing that the visual and auditory cortexes are interconnected in individuals with normal hearing.

Clear and accurate cues provide complete visual access to phonemic and environmental information. Thus cueing reinforces the auditory input the child receives. Such reinforcement supports the continuing development of auditory perception, discrimination, and comprehension.

Cued Speech:

  • should be used as soon as possible after diagnosis to begin the process of establishing phonemic awareness and discrimination of language, regardless of the use of assistive listening technologies.
  • clarifies visually the information the child accesses through audition.
  • is especially necessary when hearing aids or implants are removed or compromised (e.g., bedtime, bath time, in the pool, in noisy environments, etc.).
  • assures full communication when technology is not sufficient to provide access to every sound or phoneme (e.g., during classroom discussion when speakers overlap).
When information is missing or unclear, that impacts the language learning process, both receptively and expressively. In order to maximize language development and emergent literacy skills, individuals must have 100 percent access to the language all around them.

— Adopted 4-15-2007 CS in an Auditory-Verbal Environment [PDF] »

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