Cued Speech News Spring 2013.

Cued Speech News
Spring 2013 Issue 55

Family Summer Camp Weekend 2013

We are planning to follow up last year’s successful and enjoyable Summer Camp with a weekend in Slapton in beautiful South Devon from Friday afternoon 2nd August to Sunday afternoon 4th August.
The venue will be the Start Bay Centre, a converted old school situated above the village of Slapton.  Nearby is Slapton Ley and Start Bay (pictured below)

We will have exclusive use of the Centre, with an enclosed garden and a campfire circle in a secure and private location.  Click here to view Centre

Free Accommodation and camping pitches will be available for families.
Free cueing activities will build language and cueing skills.
Free nature activities, such as pond dipping, will be delivered by staff from the Field Studies Council, who own the Centre.
Day visitors are welcome – if you book in advance.  
The meal-deal (cooked breakfast, DIY salad lunch and cooked two-course evening meal) will be £20 per adult and £10 per child for the weekend.  Campers can be self-sufficient or choose the meal-deal.
Are you a total beginner?  We won’t be offering formal lessons during the family weekend – so please contact us for a lesson or two before the weekend so that you can join the cueing activities.  We will make sure that there are activities to suit your level. 
More about the venue

The Start Bay Centre has a large common room split into two sections, and an extensive outdoor area with space for five families to camp.  All bedrooms (sized for families of between 3 and 12!!) have single beds, some which are bunk beds.  The accommodation is clean, comfortable and student-style; it’s not luxurious!
We can accommodate 11 families altogether (camping and in the Centre)– don’t delay in booking.   

The Centre is about half a mile from the village and although it is accessible on foot, use of a vehicle would be preferable.  It is however within easy reach of woods where the Field Studies Council will be delivering free environmental activities, including pond dipping, for the children.  Slightly further away (about a mile) is the beach at Slapton Sands and the beautiful Slapton Ley. 


More about Slapton Ley  

Places will be limited so don’t delay; contact us to book now. 

Children’s and Families Bill by Anne Worsfold

In March 2011 the Government published a Green Paper which set out their plans to change to the support given to children and young people with special educational needs.  Changes were to be set in a new legal framework.  In some areas the Green Paper was confusingly unspecific, in others the proposed changes seemed to be potentially damaging and in some areas, an improvement.  Because deaf children are a minority and Cued Speech-using children are an even smaller minority their interests can be overlooked.  To prevent this the Association gave detailed feedback on the Green Paper to the Department for Education (DfE), and parent Sarah Collinson, through her MP, arranged a meeting with the Minister of State for Children and Families, Sarah Teather, at which Sarah C., myself and a number of others expressed our concerns.
The proposed changes are far-reaching and the Department for Education has requested feedback at intervals over the last two years.  We have continued to respond on behalf of deaf children both directly and through organisations such as the Communication Trust, of which we are a member. 
The Children and Families Bill (born out of the Green Paper) is now going through parliament but is still subject to change.  Also, additional details are set out, not in the Bill but in a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice, which is in draft.  Together the Children and Families Bill and the Code of Practice will form a new statutory framework which will govern how children and young people will be supported through education and training. 
The Bill requires Local Authorities (L.A.) to publish a ‘Local Offer’ which will set out what support is available in their area.  This could be a force for good - if, for example, the Local Offer includes Cued Speech and/or BSL this would give the parents the information to make a truly informed choice.  However, in times of shrinking budgets it will be tempting for the L.A. to ‘offer’ as little as they can get away with, and in any case, since deafness is a low-incidence disability, it may not be realistic to expect an L.A. to have every option available. 
With both the Bill and the Code of Practice still subject to change and the ‘Local Offer’ still fluid, our campaigning work is nowhere near finished yet!
There is no doubt that the voluntary sector’s work has been a very effective force for change and some of the areas I was concerned about in the Green Paper have been addressed in the Bill – although, sadly, some good points have disappeared too. 
Our Association is now prioritising our campaign in areas specific to deaf children including:

  1. The issue of support for families with deaf babies and children (specifically those aged 0 – 3 who are largely overlooked in the current documents) to ensure that deaf babies and children can access, and learn to use, full language.   
  2. Requesting that the Code of Practice acknowledges the importance of ‘giving access’ to the language of education for deaf children (currently the details are around ‘modifying’ teaching).
  3. Joining with the Communication Trust and others who are pressing for a ‘National Standard’ to inform the ‘Local Offer’. 

The aspirations of the Bill, which include closer and more efficient working between different bodies (e.g. education, health and social services), and an end to the ‘climate of low expectations’, are high.  However, there are some very significant ‘danger areas’ and in a climate of change, which includes new funding arrangements for school and tightening budgets, the practical outcomes could be very damaging. 
We will continue to campaign as best we can for deaf children in general and Cued Speech-using deaf children in particular. 
There are also many areas of concern which are common to all children with special needs and for one of the clearest summaries – and suggested action – take a look at the website of the charity IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice):

This newsletter is produced quarterly.
We welcome comments, articles and news of your events.

New leaflets about Cochlear Implantation and Cued Speech

Implantation is now common at a very early age gives increasingly better access to spoken language.  However implanted children are still deaf and still face problems with access to spoken language.  The use of Cued Speech gives full access visual to the English language, so its use alongside an implant can lessen or solve some of the problems. 
There are now three new leaflets about Cued Speech and cochlear implantation which are available on-line and in hard copy: 

Cued Speech with Cochlear Implantation – 'At a glance’ (the first page of which is pictured below) gives an over-view, a parent’s story and some information about general research.  Read the whole leaflet.

Cued Speech with Cochlear Implantation –‘In more depth’ quotes from various pieces of research and scholarly articles which demonstrate that Cued Speech gives full access to ‘spoken’ language and improved phonological awareness and so is uniquely beneficial to ‘overcome the present limitations of cochlear implants.’  Read the whole leaflet.

What can be expected from a late cochlear implantation? summarises Swiss research into thirteen pre-lingual profoundly deaf people who were implanted in between the ages of 8 and 22 years.  All had similar hearing thresholds before and after cochlear implantation and were broadly similar in hearing aid use etc.  Six used Cued Speech and were supported by CS in education whilst seven used sign language and were supported mainly with sign language (with incidental oral support) in education.  Four years after implantation the outcomes of the two groups were vastly different with the Cued Speech children outperforming all but one of the signing children in various measures.  The research is important because it also shows that the outcomes from ‘late’ implantation are very significantly improved by previous access to Cued Speech.  Read the whole leaflet.   

Would you like hard copies of any of the above leaflets for your school, clinic or to share with family?  Request some here.

Cued Speech in the Dominican Republic

Way back in 2009 we heard from Peggy Blevnis, a teacher who was planning to use Cued Speech with deaf children in the Dominican Republic. 

Peggy had written to us: ‘Deaf education is in its infancy in this area of the world, and most deaf children still don't have the opportunity to attend school.’  She told us that even the use of sign language was poor and ‘fingerspelling is used pretty much exclusively for names, since the deaf are illiterate’.  The Cued Speech Association sent what materials we could to help Peggy to learn Cued Speech in Spanish, Peggy then taught children Spanish through it - and taught Cued Speech to others.
She’s now written to tell us of the progress the deaf children have made.  She said when she began to introduce Cued Speech the teachers had ‘never seen a deaf person who could truly read (rather than just point to a word and sign, but not really understand), so they didn't see it as possible’.  Now reading is ‘taking off’ and ‘other schools are amazed to see deaf students reading (and even some who love reading)’.

  Read the whole article here: 

Cued Speech -
complete spoken language through vision


Cued Speech is a
simple system which 
makes spoken language
fully accessible to
deaf and hearing-impaired
babies, children and adults.

Cued Speech Association UK
is a charity which was established in 1975 to provide information about and training in Cued Speech.
This is achieved by:
- providing tuition
 - creating and making available teaching materials
 - maintaining standards by examining
 - collecting & disseminating information about international research and good practice
- working with other organisations.

Charity No 279523  Company No 1477997

Contact details:
9 Jawbone Hill  Dartmouth
Devon  TQ6 9RW
Voice & textphone: 01803 832784
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