Winter 2014


Issue 62

makes spoken language visible for
  deaf babies, children and adults

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'12 reasons Cued Speech made sense for my son'

Sarah Collinson

“It was the only way that he could learn spoken English Naturally at home as his ‘mother tongue’ while he was still young, just as a hearing child would: CS was the only visual alternative to hearing aids that could give him complete and immediate access to all the spoken language around him at home.”

In a recent article for the blog, NDCS Regional South West Director, Sarah Collinson has written a discussion piece about how and why Cued Speech was the best option for her 15-year-old son, Will, from babyhood.  Given a rare diagnosis of auditory nerve hypoplasia, and with hearing aids ineffective, the outcome of Will’s cochlear implantation, at aged 2 ½, was very uncertain.  
Sarah writes: “Fourteen years down the line, it feels like CS was the only option to give him the chance of realising his full potential in life. He’s now a happy, confident and successful teenager, popular and self-assured with both hearing and deaf friends, and doing everything that you would want or expect a regular teenager to be doing.”

Sarah has compiled a list of twelve reasons why Cued Speech made so much sense for her son.  
This link will allow you to read Sarah’s not-to-be-missed article in full.  


'CueLiteracy' video - with the Rose Family

Popular YouTube bloggers, CueCognatio, have released a wonderful new video, featuring the Rose family, about how Cued Speech can be used to facilitate language, communication and literacy development in infants.  The video shows the parents, who grew up with Cued Speech themselves, cueing to their baby from as early as a few weeks old, and as time passes, the baby can be seen to clearly understand the cued language - and to cue back. 

You can watch this wonderful video (titled “CueLiteracy: Aspiring Readers”) of first and second generation Cued Speech users by clicking on this link

An open letter to Teachers of the Deaf

Cate Calder

“The key thing to understand about CS is that although on one hand it is just a simple lip-reading tool (and not 'another language' for the child to learn) this simple system has an extraordinary impact on what really matters, and that is the child's ability to think in a full and fluent language.”

Cued Speech tutor Cate Calder has written an open letter to Teachers of the Deaf (TOD’s) who have no previous experience with cueing and Cued Speech.  Cate says: ‘I have worked in the field of deafness for 24 years and I have never found another way of representing spoken language (English in this case) in such a way that deaf children can easily absorb and master it in the way CS does, regardless of their level of hearing loss.’
For a professional take on language acquisition at home and school and the role of Cued Speech in literacy you can read Cate’s letter in its entirety at this link.   

In the News

The Devon Clinical Commissioning Group announced, on 4th December, that, with immediate effect, the NHS hearing aid provision would be restricted to one hearing aid per person for all deaf adults.

Mark Worsfold (who is profoundly deaf and who was brought up with Cued Speech) and NDCS Regional Director, Sarah Collinson (whose son was brought up with Cued Speech), were major players in a challenge to Devon CCG’s expensive ‘cost-cutting’ exercise to limit hearing aids to one! 

Writing separately to MPs and the CCG, and in TV interviews, Sarah and Mark flagged up the extraordinarily high cost of this ‘budget cut’ in various areas, including the additional costs of buying in communication support through ‘Access to Work’ which would be necessary for deaf people whose ‘hearing’ was suddenly drastically reduced.
As Mark, who is a radar scientist at the Met Office, said: 
“I rely entirely on lip-reading for communication.  What many people don't realise is how much of lip-reading is guesswork; hearing aids can make the difference between highly educated guesswork and incomprehension.  In short - when it comes to lip-reading, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  Consequently, having half the number of hearing aids doesn't mean that your lip-reading ability is halved, it can actually cripple it entirely. For me, I would say that this ruling is analogous to limiting the number of wheels that can be installed on a wheelchair in order to save rubber.”

Mark’s MP, Ben Bradshaw, quoted other parts of Marks letter in parliament in a Petition on NHS Services in Devon, including Mark’s description of the policy as “morally, legally and financially indefensible”. 

In reply it was announced that a consultation will take place on the proposed cuts in the New Year. 

If you are in Devon and would like to contribute to the consultation, or if you live in the rest of the UK and want to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen in your area, you can find more information about the parliamentary conversations at this link, and information about the time-table for consultation here.

Learn Cued Speech

Cued Speech uses just 8 handshapes in 4 positions around the mouth at the same time as normal speech – you cue as you talk.  It is the combination of the handshapes, hand positions and the lip patterns of normal speech that makes the whole of spoken language visually clear; it takes away any need for guesswork when lip-reading.

Learning to cue is not at all like learning a new language; you learn a new way of expressing a language you already know.  Therefore you can learn quite quickly.  It takes about 20 hours to learn enough to say any word in the English language - although initially you will cue slowly. Speed and fluency will come with practice.
There are various ways you can learn Cued Speech.  With e-learning, skype sessions, practice websites and old-fashioned face-to-face tuition we will work around you to provide the most effective training.  Taking the first step is always the hardest; allow us to make the next step that little bit easier - contact us; our charity will arrange training at modest cost and often within days of your enquiry.


Contact details:

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

Charity No 279523
Company No 1477997

Season's Greetings

Well, it’s that time of year again, and here at the Cued Speech Association UK we would like to wish everyone health and happiness over the festive season. 

Thank you for your support, interest and kindness through 2014, and our very best wishes for a successful 2015.

Research at UCL

Rachel Rees, the Programme Director of MSc Speech and Language Sciences at UCL, is currently undertaking new research and needs some volunteers with an hour to spare.  If you, or someone you know, fits the criteria below and could help, please contact Rachel. 
Learning New Words: What Helps?

Are you:

18 or over, have normal hearing, no literacy difficulties, English as a first language and no knowledge of how to use Cued Speech?
This project will compare the different ways of helping people to recognise the sounds in novel words when they are denied access to sound: lip-reading training, Cued Speech training, and auditory training.
Can you:

Give up an hour of YOUR time in February to help?
Your reward?

Refreshments, a one in 50 chance of winning a £50 Amazon voucher, and the knowledge that you have helped take forward research into developing ways of helping deaf children to learn new words.

If you think you can help with this exploratory study with hearing adults which will lead to the development of programmes that can be used with deaf children PLEASE contact:
Rachel Rees - Speech and Language Sciences, UCL - by emailing
Testing will take place at UCL at:

Chandler House,
Wakefield Street,
London WC1N 1PF
(Nearest stations: Russell Square and Kings Cross)

Cue Camp - 2015

We are now negotiating details for a long weekend in beautiful South Devon to learn to cue and/or improve your cueing skills.  The dates are from Friday 30th October to Sunday 1st November. The venue will be the Slapton Ley Field Centre, and we look forward to another successful event. 

This is still early days for planning, but if you have any questions regarding the setting or calendar of events, or wish to make an advanced booking, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the Cued Speech office by email,  or by telephone. 

We look forward to hearing from you, and for a repeat of the wonderful experiences of 2014.


Deaf children’s education is obviously hugely influenced by government legislation and it is vital that, as the only voice for Cued Speech-using children, we responded to relevant consultations. 

In the last two months our Executive Director, Anne Worsfold, replied independently to the Department for Education (DfE) consultation on Mandatory Qualifications for specialist teachers (which includes Hearing Impairment) and their call for evidence on ‘Developing a set of standards for Teaching Assistants’.  

We also contributed to the Communication Trust response to the DfE consultation on Performance Descriptors for Use in Key Stage 1 and 2 Statutory Teacher Assessments for 2015 / 2016. 

These all sound very dry but responding is vital if we are to push up outcomes for deaf children.  Anne is hoping for a lull in new legislation, regulations and consultations during the run-up to the election.  

Easyfundraising - Cued Speech Site

With Christmas shopping upon us, I am more than sure each and every one of you is inundated with lists as long as your arms and an overwhelming sense that you don’t know where to start.  The Cued Speech Association are calling for your help as you battle the bargains and scale the sales. 

By setting up an account with Easyfundraising, you can now help us by directing your seasonal purchases to one of over 2700 of your favourite retailers online.  After signing up for this incredible service, and directing yourself via our fundraising site to your favourite shops, Cued Speech benefits from a small percentage of the total of your shopping cart at no extra price to you.
If you have those last minute purchases to take care of, please think of us while doing so.  Signing up takes no time at all, and by spending a minute to direct yourself to the stores you like through our fundraising home site, you can give a small amount to help us continue the work we do at the Cued Speech Association UK at no cost.  Just follow this link to sign up.

Welcome back to Barney

In 2005, Barney Sheppard began work, temporarily, as the Cued Speech Association Information Officer in his gap year, and he has continued to help out from time to time in university holidays. 

After obtaining a BSc, Barney is now a fiction writer who has released several books, and a designer of cover work and promotional banners. 

Barney has a wide skill-set and we are delighted to employ him part-time.  He’s currently working on our new website which should go live in the New Year, and new layouts for our information.  

Office Opening

Our office opening hours are now Monday – Thursday, 9.00am – 5.00pm.  Although there’s usually someone working in the office on Friday, with all staff part-time it’s not possible to achieve this every week.  We re-open after the Christmas holiday on the 5th January.  
Copyright © 2014 - The Cued Speech Association UK, All rights reserved.

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