cued speech

AGB Montessori! and Twista: Cued Speech is Great

Last night Lindsay and I went to a gala and silent auction for the Alexander Graham Bell Montessori School, the school she started school at. Lindsay was one of the school’s first students, and it was (and continues to be) one of the leaders in use of Cued Speech, thanks to its program Alternatives in Education for the Hearing Impaired (AEHI).

As I’ve mentioned before, I personally owe a lot to CS; learning it helped me with the very few communication hurdles Lindsay and I had at the beginning of our relationship. I’m still not a whiz at it, but it’s easy to learn and a great system for the hard of hearing, their friends and relatives. It’s not about language, though Cued Speech can help with that-it’s about communication, which is important whether you are deaf, or Deaf, or hearing. It’s a tool, and a great one for anyone.

Our friend Ben Lachman was honored last night for his recent work in spreading the word of CS, as was the Illinois School for the Deaf, which has recently made mandatory some all-Cue classes in its curriculum. It’s very exciting. The kids are excited. And so is Twista:

Ben and friends made this great video the other week and I’m still kind of stunned at how fast he’s able to cue, in it. Sure, he’s been Cueing all his life, but still. My “speed Cueing” classes start next week.

I know that I’ve shared the official Cued Speech site before, but Ben and a group called Cue Cognatio have put together a new one recently:, aimed at a younger audience, I suppose, but not exclusively so. There is a whole lot of great video on the site…and one of my favorites is Hannah’s Cued Speech Story because it does such a great job of explaining that Cued Speech doesn’t have to replace Sign Language for the deaf…it’s just an easy way to make communication easier for deaf and hearing alike.

And the videos that the group calls “Cuesic Videos” – people cueing songs (like the Twista one) – are going to be fun to watch. Lindsay has always told me that the way for me to get faster at Cueing would be to cue along to songs that I knew. Ben asked us if we’d do a Cuesic Video together…a challenge that I am ready to take. Stay tuned!

things heard

Staying Alive

Before I post about the great time we had at the AGB Montessori Gala last night, which won’t mentioned cochlear implants at all, I wanted to say that even though the evening (for us) was mostly about Cued Speech…

At one point in the evening while the DJ was spinning various popular songs, Lindsay realized suddenly that she could actually hear the track he was playing. There have been times in the past year that she asked me whether she was hearing a certain song, in a bar or restaurant, perhaps, and was disappointed to be wrong. Last night she nailed it: Staying Alive, by the BeeGees.

A look to the dance floor gave her all the confirmation she needed: a sea of arms spastically pointing fingers to the air and to the floor. Ten o’clock, four o’clock, ten o’clock, four o’clock…stayin’ alive! stayin’ alive!