What is Cued Speech

Cued Speech defined

Cued Speech is a visual communication system — mouth movements of speech combine with “cues” to make all the sounds (phonemes) of spoken language look different.

sample cuing positions

What are the “cues”?

When cueing English, eight handshapes distinguish consonant phonemes and four locations near the mouth distinguish vowel phonemes. A handshape and a location together cue a syllable.

Can I use Cued Speech with other communication systems?

Yes! Cued Speech complements all the various auditory and signed language approaches. The typical deaf cuer is flexible, able to communicate with speech, speechreading, Cued Speech, and signed language.

Why should I use Cued Speech?

Literacy is the original and primary goal of Cued Speech, by providing the appropriate phonemic language base for learning to read. Cued Speech also supports the development of lipreading, auditory discrimination, and speech. Can I use Cued Speech with other languages? Cued Speech has been adapted to more than 55 languages and dialects! Cued Speech associations and centers are located around the world.

Who uses Cued Speech?

What does research and experience tell us about Cued Speech?


Cued Speech assists in processing auditory information by breaking through the confusion of incomplete and distorted sound. Continued use of Cued Speech can lead to significant improvement in speech discrimination. Cochlear implants and Cued Speech are powerful partners.

For many, Cued Speech accelerates the recognition of sounds received via the implant. Implant users of all ages appreciate the use of Cued Speech in difficult listening situations.


If development of speech is desired, Cued Speech can support speech and articulation skills by:


Cued Speech clarifies speechreading in cued situations and often improves speechreading in non-cued situations.



Having access to and understanding the phonemic base of spoken languages is key to learning to read for ALL children. Cued Speech:

With consistent, effective use, deaf children who communicate with Cued Speech develop the language base that enables them to read at the same level and use similar reading strategies as if they were hearing. Cued Speech use can solve the literacy problem for most deaf children.