Cued Speech Not Practical As Communication Method for Deaf

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The real problem with cued speech, however, is that it does not help the deaf person communicate with anyone who does not use the cued-speech symbols.

R. Orin Cornett, the creator of the cued-speech method, is correct when he states that deaf children will not learn as quickly as children who can hear until they can learn easily, naturally, and rapidly outside the school.

This is precisely why it is so crucial for deaf children to learn sign language along with speech and speech reading.

If used properly, sign language assists the development of language, speech, speech-reading skills, imagination, and healthy psychological development.

It is also used by, and always will be the chosen mode of communication for, the vast majority of deaf adults. Any deaf person will say that sign language is the most practical method of communication.

Look at studies in the American Annals of the Deaf to see that sign language has never hindered anyone educationally. In fact, children who grow up using sign language with parents who are also deaf often turn out to be the brightest students in schools for the deaf.

Given a choice between the "oralist" method of instruction (teaching only speech and lip-reading skills), the cued-speech method of lip reading, and the "total communication" method (teaching the deaf child speech, speech-reading, and sign-language skills), any clear-thinking educator would choose total communication. It permits those children who are capable of developing good speech skills to do so without hindering the lives of those who cannot.

Vol. 02, Issue 15, Page 16

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