National Cued Speech Association

Cued Speech and Cochlear Implants

A Position Statement of the National Cued Speech Association

For many persons who are deaf, the rapidly advancing technology of cochlear implants significantly increases access to the auditory information necessary to process speech and language. The decision to implant a child or undergo implantation is complex. It requires an understanding of the potential risks and benefits involved. The parents and/or implant candidate also need reliable information about evaluations and recommendations from experienced medical and educational professionals, as well as feedback from other parents and cochlear implant recipients.

The National Cued Speech Association (NCSA) supports literacy and language development through the use of Cued Speech. The NCSA asserts that the continued use of cueing after implantation facilitates the process of learning speech and language through auditory channels by providing visual clarification and confirmation of what the person hears through the implant.

Cued Speech allows the implant recipient to match the cues to new auditory information and assimilate it into his/her internal phoneme map. Cueing also provides an unambiguous message when competing or background noise is present, when the implant is not in use or when the implant recipient is at a distance from the speaker. Additionally, cueing facilitates and accelerates new language development, including vocabulary, grammatical structures, and idiomatic expressions, as well as provides continuity among speech-language professionals when teaching articulation skills.

The NCSA believes that for the implant recipient to obtain maximum long-term educational and linguistic benefits, accurate and fluent cueing should be used in conjunction with the cochlear implant.

—Original Statement adopted 7-31-2003
—Revised Statement adopted 4-14-2007

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