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Summer 2015

 

e-news - MEDIA EDITION

Issue 64

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Introducing:

 the new Cued Speech Website



We are proud to introduce our new website, which went live on May 19th.  It is located at the same web address as before but, with the new design, it is much better suited to mobile devices. It is filled with useful links and information and is visually arresting.  It is aimed to appeal to both those new to Cued Speech and to experienced cuers who need, for example, research information. 

The website will continually be updated by in-house staff to bring the latest news and events, research and media coverage about Cued Speech, both nationally and internationally.

Have you got any stories of personal experiences with Cued Speech or the Association you wish to share?  Please contact us and let us take your tales to the web.  Do you have any pictures of training events or Cue clubs that you think would add to the website?  Please send them in.

The website is an information tool primarily, but we want our users to feel happy with its look and content, and we want to invite you all to be a part of it.  Whether that be sharing success stories, advising us on events to put on our Facebook or Twitter, or contributing to the newsletter, all input is welcome and encouraged.

In the meantime, enjoy the new site, share it with friends, family and professionals, and spread the word about Cued Speech.

Cue Weekend 2015

Friday 30th October - Sunday 1st November: 




After the success of last year’s Cue Weekend, we have booked the Slapton Ley Field Centre once more, but this time in autumn for a cooler approach to Cued Speech.  The weekend will consist of structured, tutor-led classes at beginner, improver and advanced levels for the visiting parents and professionals, whilst the children enjoy their own activities.  Older kids will partake in informal and incidental learning in the form of nature-based activities carried out by staff at the SLFC, whilst the younger kids will be cared for by professionals in the crèche - with Cued Speech Transliterators and, if needed, BSL interpreters providing access to language.

Due to the autumn timing, camping is not going to be an option this year, but we have secured a range of facilities to keep you and you families happy and warm for the weekend on the site.  Or, if you’d prefer, you can make your own arrangements in private, self-catered accommodation – we are happy to be flexible.

Families have always enjoyed our event, and feedback from last year has highlighted the sense of community, and shared learning when cueing at the Camp.  This is a weekend getaway that is both educational and fun for all the family, allowing you to achieve whilst in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Interest in this event is high, so check out our webpage to read more.

You can contact us in the office to book your place, or discuss bursaries for families who need it.

CSAUK Progress Report




It’s a busy time of year for promoting the benefits of Cued Speech and the needs of Cued Speech using children nationally, with Executive Director Anne Worsfold, tutor Cate Calder and freelance tutor Carly Simpson all delivering important representation across the country.  The work is always ongoing and below we have highlighted just some of the work we have been involved in. 

As some of you may know, the recent SEND reforms have changed the way provisions are made to children with disabilities, including deaf children.  This has provided a slew of information and work to be undertaken to support our users and their families.  Anne and our Administration Support Officer, Debbie Hawke, attended an information day in London to learn more about the Local Offer, and how we can ensure that this will benefit Cued Speech-using children.  Debbie also attended a workshop about Personal Budgets, so that we can advise parents how this could be relevant to them.
 
Anne replied in detail to a government request for feedback on the content of the Mandatory Qualifications for Teachers of the Deaf because she feels strongly that the current qualification guidelines reinforce the expectation of failure and do not take into account the needs and outcomes of children with whom Cued Speech is used.  She also responded to the ‘call for evidence’ around developing a new national reading strategy ‘read on get on’ campaign.  With all national work Anne works informally with other organisations such as the Communication Trust in order to increase awareness of the needs of Cued Speech-using deaf children. 

Anne has also been contributing to some of the work by a ‘BSL Coalition’ group.  The group’s remit covered BSL and other sign systems and whilst CS is not a ‘sign system’, Anne’s contribution was to ensure that Cued Speech-using children were represented.  The work (although not Anne’s contribution) was government-funded and is now at an end.  It was facilitated by NATSIP (National Sensory Impairment partnership) and can be found on their website; Anne especially recommends the BSL/Sign Systems Audit Report

In a conference delivered by DCAL (Deafness, Cognition and Language), Cate attended as a representative for Cued Speech, delivering a well-received point about its importance in the ongoing study into lip-reading and deafness.

Carly has attended and delivered many presentations and distributed information packs, including the ‘Lets Communicate Together’ event in Ripon, North Yorkshire, Dress Loud for Deafness Day in Sunderland, and the NDCS Family event in Edinburgh.

The Association continues to work to ensure that Cued Speech is available to everyone who needs it, through the new reforms, consultations and in face-to-face activities. 

Technology:

Advancing Cued Speech


easyfundraising app


If you read our Spring Newsletter, you’ll remember Sue Tweed’s article about how she raises money for CSAUK using the easyfundraising website.  This site allows a donation to be made to your chosen charity, at no cost to you, simply by ordering from your favourite online retailers.  Recently, easyfundraising have made this process even easier with the launch of their mobile app for Apple products.  If you have an i-Pad or i-Phone, the app can be downloaded from the app store for free, allowing you to keep tabs on the amount you are raising for the CSAUK simply by doing your usual shopping.

Of course, not everyone is an Apple product user, but luckily, the folks at easyfundraising have also developed a desktop fundraising reminder to allow you to keep tabs on your donations and raise up to five times more than before.

Remember to link your account to our fundraising page and we will benefit from small donations made on your behalf.



Transcense




Thibault Duchemin, one of the founders of the ‘Transcense’ app is the only hearing child from a deaf family, and a supporter and user of Cued Speech.

He and other graduates from Berkley and USF in California have devised an app for mobile devices that allows you follow group messages and reply in real-time.  Currently being tested, ‘Transcense’ is technology is aimed at the deaf and hard of hearing and will revolutionise the ability to participate in conversations featuring more than one person, be it for work or in a social setting.  The company’s CEO’s have stated on their website that the following perks will be available when the app goes live:

-          Zero to full engagement, under a second:  Transcense shows you who says what around you, in real-time, so you can answer in time, and be part of the discussion.
-          Never miss a conversation again: Transcense connects to the smartphones of a room to transcribe a group conversation, such as a business meeting, a family dinner, or a moment with your friends.
-          True autonomy, right in your pocket: Available anytime, anywhere, right in your pocket. Your personal interpreter for group communications is finally affordable.
 
We will keep you up to date on the progress of this incredible piece of technology as we hear it.  Alternatively, you can follow the Transcense team on Facebook or visit their website to see more about what Transcense will offer, including an introductory video narrated by Thibault himself, which is well worth a watch to show the impact this technology could have.

 

NGT Lite




The Cued Speech office is now equipping all of their computers with NGT (Next Generation Text) Lite, a free textphone service developed by BT (on behalf of the communications industry to replace its previous text relay service) for computers, tablets and mobile devices.  If you are unable to use the telephone due to deafness, then NGT Lite will allow you to access your contacts by typing your message, and the interface will reply in the appropriate format for your situation.

NGT Lite is available to download for free by visiting their website for computers (and the app store of your Apple or Android mobile device), and is simple to set up in just a few steps. 

Further to this, BT have a number of FREE Pay as you Go smartphone devices to give away to charities who know of individuals who might benefit from this kind of software.  If you know of anyone who may need this help, please contact Barney in the office, and he will be happy to contact them on your behalf.

BBC’s ‘See Hear’ Program goes live:


Wednesday 8th July saw the airing of BBC 2’s ‘See Hear’ program which featured Cued Speech.  This episode, a Deaf Literacy Special, looked at the diverse range of outcomes of deaf children.  Presenter Heidi was on a mission to find answers as to why deaf children’s literacy can be so low. 

BSL, speech reading, phonological access and finally Cued Speech were examined, with professionals giving their advice and input on the subject.  The importance of access to early language was flagged up throughout the programme.  Cued Speech Tutor Cate Calder explains the benefits of CS to the presenter, and by NDCS’s South West Regional Director Sarah Collinson discussed how Cued Speech helped her son, Will, to learn the English language as a toddler and become literate at a speed which exceeded that of many of his hearing peers.

This is a programme not to be missed!  It can be viewed on BBC iPlayer until the 8th August.  

Follow this link to view it.

Cued Speech - more on the small screen?

Carly Simpson, a freelance Cued Speech Tutor, has approached TV producers for ITV’s ‘This Morning’ show about doing a feature on Cued Speech.  She is asking for parents and families with unique experiences to come forward and possibly be included in the show.
 
She writes:
 
“We are currently looking for Cued Speech users who would be happy to share their experiences in a possible television interview on ITVs ‘This Morning’ show.
 
If we can find a suitable candidate/family, and the story gets approved by the production team for the show, this would be a huge promotions platform for Cued Speech and would help us to reach out to families nationally for whom this could be a lifeline.
 
If you and your family have a positive experience/story about how Cued Speech has helped in your life, we would love to hear from you! Include how you found out about Cued Speech and what life was like before it. How have things changed for you all since its introduction? Also, please tell us about your child’s progress and how Cued Speech has had an impact on this. What if you had never been informed about Cued Speech, how may life have been different for your child and yourself? This is an opportunity to really give Cued Speech a voice. We can’t do this without your help!
 
Please tell us about your story and what message you would like to share with those who don’t know about Cued Speech.
 
During the interview process, you would be accompanied by Cued Speech tutor Carly Simpson, who, if you want, will help you every step of the way.”
 
Attached is a form for you to fill out and send back if you feel like yours is a story that could be shared in the promotion of Cued Speech.

Will Collinson, age 15, selected for prestigious advisory position

 
Trinity School student, Will Collinson, who is profoundly deaf and was brought up using Cued Speech, has had the pleasure of being selected to join Amplify, the Children’s Commissioner’s advisory group of children and young people.  This group will have direct contact with the Commissioner, Anne Longfield OBE, and her office, and their roles will include providing input on policies and practice that affect Britain’s youth.

Will is the only young person that has been selected from his area and one of the only children in the group with a disability, making his input crucial.  Amplify serve to provide our youth with a voice, giving input to decisions that directly affect them, as stated in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children.

Will, having already attended an introductory meeting, is due to partake in a residential visit in Grantham later this month.  He is very excited for this opportunity and proud to have been one of only 20-30 young people selected.

A story from across the web


Treacher Collins Syndrome is a congenital disorder characterised by malformation of craniofacial structures.  When Rachel Ashton was born, the syndrome presented itself in the form of the absence of external ear formations and lacking openings to her ear canals.  Her mother, Salena, first heard of Cued Speech early on in Rachel’s life, but was put off by looking into it further by the lack of knowledge presented in the area.

Years later, after Rachel started school, Salena realised the importance of differentiating sounds when her daughter was falling behind in class, only the limited sound provided by a bone-anchored hearing aid to guide her.  After utilising Cued Speech, Rachel’s understanding of the intricacies of the home language became clearer, and because of their choice to learn to cue, Salena saw a vast improvement in Rachel’s educational outcomes.

In a concise and thought-provoking article written by Polly Earl and Pam Beck (Teachers of the Deaf from the Unites States), you can read about the importance of Cued Speech for the hard of hearing and deaf community, and the reasons Salena, as well as many other parents in her situation, regrets waiting to start her child using Cued Speech.

Me to You - Let’s Review



You may have read the feature in the Spring Newsletter about a new book available from our freelance tutor, Carly Simpson.  Carly has contacted us to request for families using Cued Speech with a baby or young child who would be happy to review the 'Me to You - Let's Cue!' First Words book.
 
Anybody interested in completing this review should contact Carly to express their interest on this email address: carly.cuedspeech@mail.com
 
The family selected will receive a free hard copy of the book in order to review it, and their review will be printed in the NDCS Family Magazine.

Cue Club, Exeter - upcoming dates


There have been some changes to Christine Cottom’s Cue Club, held at Mill on the Exe in Exeter, Devon.  These meetings will now be held every two months, and the upcoming dates are as follows:
  • 6th July - 7pm
  • 7th September - 7pm
  • 2nd November - 7pm
Christine is looking forward to seeing all attendees at the next meeting, and you can follow updates on this event on our Facebook and Twitter

Focusing on Standards


In order to keep our Information Standard accreditation, we are looking for volunteers to feedback on our information sheets.  In particular they need to comment on design and the accessibility of content, both for new and established Cued Speech users.  If you are interested in helping us maintain a high level of excellence in our information, please contact Barney

This work is vitally important to the charity and directly affects the future of our Information project.  The time demands are not high, you can comment on just a few information sheets if you want, and it can be done from home and via email.  

Recycling Update


Further to our post from the Spring Newsletter, regarding the option to recycle mobile phones and make money for the charity, we unfortunately are unable to continue this practice.  The company we were running this initiative through have sent out an order to cease the recycling of handsets due to restrictions within the Post Office.

We are currently looking into new ways to raise money that might increase the option for fundraising, and we will keep you apprised in upcoming issues of our e-newsletter.
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