About the Writer

In the late 1960s whenI was directing a Speech and Hearing Clinic in Charlotte, N.C., I met Dr. Orin Cornett at the South Carolina School for the Deaf. Cornett’s presentation convinced me that Cued Speech would sweep through deaf education, end the “oralist-manualist” controversy, and that this would happen in five or, at most, ten years.

Working at the University of D.C. in the 1970s, I had the privilege of helping to find a preschool venue for three cue kids who came after Leah (the first child to grow up with Cued Speech). Videographers at UDC documented the progress of these three in learning English. Later the children developed literacy at a normal pace in the first grades of three different public schools. There was a national surge of interest in Cued Speech when Parade Magazine ran a story about one of the children.

In the 1980s I retired and, through NCSA publications, kept track of Cued Speech. In the 1990s, Gallaudet closed its Cued Speech Office. Cued Speech continued to have a core of strong supporters but seemed to be facing more rejection than acceptance in this country.

In 2006, NCSA president Sarina Roffe organized a Cued Speech Convention memorable for international attendance, graceful transliterators, grown American cue kids, and reports on progress in standardization and certification.

After the 2006 convention, I began to think about one handshape for st and one for ts. This idea grew into a project that seemed to have a life of its own, well beyond what I had originally intended, including treatment of consonant-vowel-consonant syllables, consonant clusters and of vowel diphthongs by single handshapes or hand placements.

Today, in 2015, “experimental cueing” outlines proposals which, with future experimentation, might eventually be found useful in the growth and development of Cued Speech

Robin Balch Prescott
Ret. as Assoc.Prof, U.D.C. Dep’t. Communication. Science, 1982
Ph.D. Wayne State U. Speech and Hearing Science, 1967
M.Ed. Boston University. Speech Therapy, 1950
B.A. Vassar College, 1949

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