WASHINGTON, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Top international researchers as well as visitors from around the United States, will converge at the 50th Anniversary of Cued Speech Conference, which celebrates the enormous success at increasing literacy among students who are deaf/hard of hearing since Cued Speech was invented a half century ago.
The conference is from July 8-10, 2016 at the Westin Tysons Corner in Falls Church, VA and is hosted by the National Cued Speech Association. Lead conference sponsors are Nuby (children's baby products), Gallaudet University and hearing aid manufacturer Oticon.
Cued Speech is a mode of communication that visually represents the sounds of language. Today, deaf adult cuers are graduates from top American universities such as Brown, Harvard, Yale, Syracuse, MIT, NYU, Baylor and Berkeley, to name a few.
The conference features an International Symposium where cuers from around the world will present on how Cued Speech is used in their countries. The program includes thought provoking seminars on subjects such as cochlear implants, lifestyle issues for native cuers, bilingual education with ASL, early intervention, cued language transliteration and discussions of various applications for cueing. A Gala Awards Dinner will honor those who have made significant contributions to furthering Cued Speech. There will also be programs for children and teens. Professionals attending may receive continuing education units for attendance.
An expert on Literacy Intervention, Dr. Beverley Trezek, the keynote speaker, is the lead author of Early Literacy Development in Deaf Children (Mayer & Trezek, 2015) and completed research on the use of Cued Speech as compared to Visual Phonics. She was instrumental in the decision by Illinois School for the Deaf to begin using Cued Speech.
Native cuer Dr. Michael Argenyi will speak during a luncheon about his federal court case advocating for a Cued Language Transliterator in medical school. Special education attorney and parent Lisa Weiss will provide an overview of Special Education law, as well as ADA rights.
The expected record breaking attendance reflects peaked professional interest in using Cued Speech to meet tougher state educational standards. With states demanding higher levels of educational achievement, the idea that deaf children can achieve the same literacy levels as hearing children is attractive.
The conference will provide a forum at which experts, educators, and families can come together and share their experiences and expertise for the first time in a decade. Groundbreaking new applications of Cued Speech are proving to be beneficial not only to the deaf and hard-of hearing, but also in helping children with special learning needs communicate effectively with their families and within society. Representatives attending the conference come from almost every state as well as the Philippines, Ethiopia, Iran, Switzerland, Belgium, France, and Poland.
Research from Gallaudet University shows that deaf cueing children are capable of basic pre-reading skills, such as rhyming, which are excellent predictors for future reading abilities (LaSasso, Crain, & Leybeart, 2003; Leblanc, 2005).
Cued Speech was invented in 1966 by Dr. R. Orin Cornett, a physicist who was surprised by the low literacy rates for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. He became Vice President for Long Range Planning at Gallaudet, where he focused his attention to resolving the literacy issue. His solution was Cued Speech, a system of eight handshapes (representing groups of consonant sounds) in four positions around the face (representing groups of vowel sounds) in combination with natural mouth movements.
The simple but revolutionary concept caught on across the country, especially among hearing parents of deaf children (over 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents). Since its invention 50 years ago, researchers have documented that Cued Speech holds the keys to language growth, phonemic awareness, increased communication and inclusion in the family, literacy, higher level thinking skills and a college education.
The National Cued Speech Association was formed in 1982 and is the oldest cueing advocacy organization in the world. The NCSA champions effective communication, increased language, and literacy through the use of Cued Speech.
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SOURCE National Cued Speech Association