Some people may be wondering how CueSign started and Facebook likes an official date of establishment. In reality, there is no single date of when communities form as they naturally evolve over time. American Sign Language (ASL) has been documented for hundreds of years and is still rapidly evolving due to advancements in academic ASL and the emergence of regional dialects. Cued Speech (the system), cued languages, and cued American English were created only five decades ago with the singular purpose of supporting literacy in deaf and hard of hearing people. Today, it has grown into 60+ visual adaptations for other spoken languages around the world and has found multiple benefits beyond the deaf and hard of hearing communities.
Historically, parents and caregivers have had to chose only one pathway for their deaf and hard of children: oralism or sign language. As those children grew up into adulthood, they have frequently found themselves at a crossroads - the majority of their families are hearing but they found solace and a different level of connection with peers like them. When Cued Speech emerged, it added another layer of complexity. It was a completely different way of accessing language and communication that was separate from ASL, yet it didn’t fit neatly within the oral sphere because Cued Speech uses manual cues and non-manual markers to provide 100% visual access. Often, those who had Cued Speech incorporated at some point in or throughout their entire lives also learned sign language.
These people along with their families, friends, and allies naturally formed a community, one in which inclusivity was cherished throughout, regardless of language and modality used, whether it was ASL or cued American English, and sometimes cued Spanish and cued modern Hebrew, among other dialects. This community has evolved into what is known today as the CueSign community, a community in which everyone is welcome and accepted, whether they are newbies or have been signing and/or cueing their entire lives.
Welcome to our community.