About Cued Speech

About Cued Speech

NCSA Definition of Cued Speech (used with permission):

Cued Speech is a visual mode of communication that uses handshapes and placements in combination with the mouth movements of speech to make the phonemes of a spoken language look different from each other.


The cueing of a traditionally spoken language is the visual counterpart of speaking it. Cueing makes available to the eye(s) the same linguistic building blocks that speaking avails the ear(s). Until the advent of cueing, the term spoken language accurately described what had been the only way of distinctly conveying these building blocks: speaking. In fact, until that time, the sounds of speech and the building blocks were thought of as one and the same.

Nevertheless, speaking is simply a process of manipulating tongue placement, breath stream, and voice to produce a sound code that represents these building blocks. The blocks are assembled by way of the stream of sounds produced by these manipulations. Cueing is a process of manipulating handshapes, hand placements, and non-manual signals to produce a visible code representing the same building blocks. The blocks are assembled by way of the stream of cues produced by these manipulations. Because cueing is the visible counterpart of speaking, cued language is the visible counterpart of spoken language.