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What is cued speech?

"Cued Speech" is a communication method that focuses on using a set of hand signal "cues" to assist in the speech-reading  process.  The manual signals represent certain speech sounds that are not evident on the lips.


Cued Speech

submitted by Shad Melton
April 28, 2003

Cued Speech is a method of communication that came into existence in the 1960s. It uses eight hand shapes along with lip shapes. You communicate by using these eight hand shapes in four locations near the mouth, in combination with the information visible on the mouth, to make spoken language clear through vision alone (Cornett, 1992). The hardest thing about Cued Speech is to make the signs at the same time as the words are pronounced.  But compared to most methods of communicating with the deaf, Cued Speech is probably the easiest one to learn. One of the biggest drawbacks is that it is not used as commonly as other methods. 


Cornett, R. Orin, Ph.D. and Daisey, Mary Elsie, M.Ed. (1992). The Cued Speech Resource Book for Parents of Deaf Children. Raleigh, North Carolina: national Cued Speech Association. 17-24



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