Learning to use Cued Speech is so much fun and can be so life-changing for families with deaf children. Helen Campbell, who works as a medical Sign Language interpreter, decided to learn to use Cued Speech when she found out how it supports deaf people’s access to spoken English.
Helen said “I think that Cued Speech is an amazing tool to enable deaf people to access all the information that hearing people can and I think that it’s just so much easier for families to learn. All deaf people should be raised with both British Sign Language (BSL) and English. But it’s so difficult for parents to learn BSL initially; there’s not enough access to it and BSL tutors are so rare. However, parents can learn Cued Speech over a weekend and start revealing language to their deaf children almost immediately. We live in England and everything is done in English, so deaf people should have full visual access to both BSL and English. Cued Speech can allow deaf people to become literate, and with these fully developed reading and writing skills they can communicate effectively in a world that relies so much on written communication.”
Helen passed her level 1 Cued Speech at our base; The Boatshed in Totnes and she’s looking forward to telling everyone about her success. As an accomplished BSL/English interpreter and expert in visual language for deaf people, Helen can now add Cued Speech to her extensive professional skills and she also has the opportunity of training towards the level 2 qualification.
Becoming qualified in Cued Speech use can lead to career choices; teaching families and deafness professionals how to cue as a ‘CueTutor’ or perhaps even becoming a ‘transliterator’. To transliterate means to represent a spoken language like English, in a different mode. This means transliterators represent English visually, through cueing it, rather than orally through speaking it. This is different from ‘interpreting’ which is representing a first language in a second separate language. Helen may one day be able to interpret for some clients in BSL and transliterate for others with Cued Speech.
Families often use a bilingual approach at home, by choosing to use both BSL and Cued Speech with their deaf children. This is the most complete bilingualism, that aims to give deaf children native-level understanding and use of both languages; spoken English and signed BSL. As the popularity of Cued Speech grows in the UK, perhaps Helen can look forward to her skills being very much in demand.
To find out how you can learn Cued Speech, visit our website here.
If you have a deaf child or want to learn more about Cued Speech, you can contact Cued Speech UK by using our contact page, you can also send an email to [email protected] or you can call us on 01803 712553.
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