Cued speech gets nod of approval from local Illinois schools

The Illinois School For the Deaf recently incorporated Cued Speech into its curriculum, an idea championed by the A.G. Bell Montessori School.

A.G. Bell Montessori School in Wheeling is the nation’s only Montessori school that mainstreams both deaf and hearing children together using Cued Speech.

Cued Speech is a way to make phonics visible, with every consonant sound having a different hand shape and every vowel sound having a placement around the face.

Cued Speech also helps with lip-reading because all of the cues are done around the mouth and connected with the mouth movement, says Karla Giese, director of deaf services at A.G. Bell Montessori.

For years, American Sign Language was considered the standard for deaf students, but Cued Speech is slowly growing in popularity. With an emphasis on personalized and individual learning, students can learn at their own pace.

Nearly all of the deaf or hard-of-hearing students at Montessori are at grade level or higher on standardized tests, the school reports.

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