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Understanding Cued Speech

Cued Speech provides the foundation for all other communication interventions for deaf children right from the start.


  • It provides access to the full and rich first spoken language of the home on which to build other languages such as British Sign language.

  • It significantly and positively impacts lip-reading which is a significant skill underpinning literacy development for deaf children.

  • It allows a child to develop an understanding of spoken language and an auditory memory (regardless of the level of hearing loss) that will support and accelerate the rehabilitation process post cochlear implant.



  • Deaf children brought up with Cued Speech can achieve age appropriate reading levels equivalent to hearing children. It enhances the ability to lipread so well that deaf children can start school with all the language they need to learn to read and write. They can then go on to explore the world through reading, which leads to high levels of self-esteem. With Cued Speech children have every opportunity to reach their full potential.

  • Learning to read and write, a reader needs to be able to think in English, look at each letter and attach and remember the sounds associated with each letter. Next, the reader must string the sounds together (phonemes), to make words and understand the meaning behind the words.  

  • A beginner reader needs to:

  1. Learn to identify and recognise the letters of the alphabet.

  2. Develop phonetic awareness which means that the reader can identify the sounds of speech and which ones are in which words.

  3. Develop grapheme awareness, which means the reader can identify letters of the alphabet and learn reading rules such as reading left to right; understanding word spaces and punctuation


Cued Speech provides the link between language and literacy for deaf children.​

We want all deaf children to have the opportunity to benefit from Cued Speech.  Deaf Choices UK are the only charity in the UK to provide training in Cued Speech.

A deaf persons experience with the English Language

A deaf person's experience with Cued Speech