It seems that a major benefit of Cued English has been missed in this discussion. The situation which I refer to occurs when a deaf child is part of a hearing family. If this child’s primary language is ASL, he or she often has no real language model in the home. Too frequently hearing parents do not become proficient at ASL in a rapid enough manner to keep up with the language needs of a growing child. A hearing parent who chooses Cued English (or Cued Spanish or any other Cued Language) as a communication modality does not need to first learn English (or Spanish or whatever their native language is). It is already the language of the home. They only need to learn how to visually represent the sounds so that their child will be included in the conversations around him or her. While so many people talk of Deaf Culture, they make no mention of the fact that this may not be the culture of the home. A child should grow up in the culture of their home. When the culture of the home is Deaf Culture then it is their culture, but if the culture of the home relies on spoken English, then the child needs to understand, and be fluent in, the same English as his or her parents. They should understand the same colloquialisms, the same jokes, the same expressions. I don’t mean to imply that there’s no place for multi-culturalism, in fact the more one learns of another culture, the more understanding and compassion is generated. Learning multiple languages is one component that enhances such understanding. But it is important for a growing child to have a proficient 1st language model within the home, no matter what that language might be.
I could go on and profess the improvements in literacy rates which have been researched and published. (LaSasso and Metzger 1998 Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education), (LaSasso, Crain, & Leybaert, 2003 Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Eduation), (Leybaert, 1993 Psychological perspectives on deafness), but the publications do speak for themselves.