“Do you still use Cued Speech?”

For the most part, I get this question in good faith and don’t mind answering.

Once in a while, however, I get the vibe that the asker is hunting for “weak points” in Cued Speech, especially when they see me using sign language to communicate. Needless to say, this makes me a bit uncomfortable since I don’t want my statements to be taken out of context.

On a pragmatic level, it’s like asking if I still use Mandarin. Most of the time I don’t, but if I visit China or a Chinatown, then yes, of course I’m going to use Mandarin– at least as best as I can, while utterly butchering the tones. Likewise, when I visit cueing friends, I’ll use Cued English with them. If I’m with deaf or signing friends, I’ll use sign language. The environment determines what I use. It’s as simple as that.

So rest assured, I’m not going to ever give up Cued Speech. English is my native language, and Cued Speech is my most accurate and reliable way of visually conveying that language in real time.

One thought on ““Do you still use Cued Speech?”

  1. Yes, that’s what I thought so, too! I was in your shoes, too! You are 100% correct! I switch CS and ASL all the time whoever I am with Cuers or Deaf Culturally friends when we visit. A lot of Deaf Culturally people thought some Cuers are not happy with Cued Speech because they see some Cuers was using Sign language. For hearing people, I write down on paper in English. Because they do not know CS nor ASL.


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