NATIONAL charity, Cued Speech UK, has developed its on-line services, to ensure families with deaf children are not forgotten during the corona virus pandemic.
New laws (Coronavirus Act 2020) have been passed that will allow local authorities to effectively ‘suspend’ a child’s statement or Education, Health and Care plan whilst the NHS is cancelling grommet surgery for glue ear, bone anchored hearing aids and cochlear implant surgery on older children.
These developments could potentially have a serious and detrimental impact on deaf children’s language acquisition, if their needs are not met during the current corona virus pandemic, particularly if children are in their critical early years. Families who previously planned to support their deaf children’s language needs through audition, will be left without the technology needed for their children to hear.
A spokesman for Cued Speech UK told Charity Today:
“Families still need support and we can offer it.
“Cued Speech is a way of helping a deaf child see spoken language. It really helps lip-reading, which is actually very difficult without help. If you are deaf, you have to rely heavily on lip reading to understand and acquire English, and that is really hard for lots of reasons but mainly because so many words look the same! So, Cueing uses handshapes close to the face to visually show a difference – this can allow a deaf person to see everything that you’re saying, just as if you were adding subtitles. It’s perfect for deaf children, particularly if you don’t have access to hearing aids.
“Families who learn to Cue, ensure their deaf children are able to acquire the same language they use and can express their thoughts, feelings and emotions in the same way. It puts spoken language into their family’s hands, so deaf children can see what they’re saying.
“We previously moved to cloud based services and online learning to reduce costs, and meet the changing demands of our users. This enables us to continue providing a range of support to families and professionals alike, during the current corona virus pandemic. Going on-line means we’ve actually increased our reach to families across the UK.
“Our Family Support Practitioners are working harder than ever, providing on-line support to isolated homes with deaf children. The team are busy creating fun and imaginative ways to engage with the children as well as creating Cueing family support groups on-line. We are also providing one-to-one and group learning online sessions with our tutors, as well as our self-study platform which allows people to learn in their own time. We are also creating new content such as online games and lessons via our website www.cuedspeech.co.uk and Facebook pages, making our services accessible to everyone. And as ever, we are providing value for money to our funders, due to our lower overhead costs.”