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Cued Speech Europa

There are approximately 466 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the world, so their problems are not marginal. Preventing their social exclusion and creating communication communities is a priority task today. Deaf and hard of hearing students can nowadays get good quality education not only in special institutions, but also in integrated and mainstream (inclusive) educational institutions. Teachers, therapists and other specialists working with deaf and hard of hearing population need support in acquiring innovative communication skills to meet the individual needs of their students. This situation is reflected throughout the EU.

The CUED SPEECH EUROPA project aims to promote a method supporting auditory and linguistic development in phonic national languages: French, Polish and Italian. For many decades, adaptations of Cued Speech have helped to improve the inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing people and to raise the quality of education in all types of institutions. It is very important to show the benefits of using this method today.

Cued speech (CS) is a very simple technique that was created to support people with hearing loss who, despite the early rehabilitation, have difficulties in accessing the language. It enables them to communicate with other deaf and hard of hearing persons and with hearing people: their parents, friends, therapists, speech therapists and teachers in an accessible and precise way. Cued speech is an accompaniment in tracing the movements of the lips, it is an auxiliary technique that enables understanding speech. Cued speech has many national adaptations, among them the Italian (Parola Italiana Totalmente Accessibile), French (Langue française Parlée Complétée) and Polish (fonogesty). The ideal solution is to build a community that communicates consistently using CS to facilitate the acquisition of speech and language, but the effectiveness of CS can be achieved also when it is used by some or only one person in the deaf person’s environment.

The use of the system consists of gestures synchronized with speech. The configuration of 8 hand layouts assigned to consonants together with locations around the face enable a deaf or hard of hearing person to listen visually – distinguish precisely all speech sounds which is crucial in learning speech and language. Parents and other people involved can learn to speak with cued speech within a few days and without much effort constantly speaking to the child and supplementing the speech with cues.

Scientific research by K. Krakowiak and J. Leszka (2000, p. 32) shows that the cued speech system enables deaf students to perceive over 95% of utterances (an attempt at visual particles, open syllables, words and sentences).

The target groups of the project are deaf and hard of hearing people, their parents, friends, teachers, therapists and speech therapists.

Krakowiak K., Leszka J.,The Effects of Using Cued Speech in the Formation of the Language of the Hearing Impaired Children. Audiofonologia, Vol XVII, 2000, p. 21-40.