…an interview with Samantha

Back in October we wrote about Cue Camp Virginia, oneof the many Cued Speech camps located throughout the country, and the particular camp that one of our own GCCC students, Samantha, attended. [read post here]

We sat down and spoke with Samantha a little bit about the Cue Camp and her life using cued speech.

How long have you been attending Cue Camp Virginia?

Since I was 3 years old so about 17 years.

Why do you attend the camp?

I attend Cue Camp Virginia to see old friends, meet new deaf people, hang out, cue and enjoy the activities that they have.

What do you do at camp?

The camp has different activities like canoeing, a bonfire where we roast marshmallows while someone usually plays the guitar, a dance on Saturday night and a lot of other games.

What do you learn from the camp?

People who are new to the camp come to learn about cued speech and learn how to cue.

What do you gain from the camp?

I already know how to cue so I really go to see all my friends and hopefully meet new friends and just to have a good time. The camp teaches people about cued speech and teaches them how to cue. They also have a few different professionals speak on deaf-related issues.

Do the same people attend every year?

Yes but there are always new people every year.

Do you continue contact with the other campers after leaving the camp?

Yes I still keep in touch with them after leaving cue camp. We either text or talk on Facebook.

Does your family attend thecmap as well, or do you attend by yourself?

My mom and I have been attending cue camp since I was 3. This year 2010, my boyfriend Bryan and I flew by ourselves together.

What have been some of your best experiences from the camp?

Meeting and making friends with people from all over the world and learning about their backgrounds and what led them to come to Cue Camp.

Do you have a most memorable moment

My most memorable moment is the dance that we always have on Saturday night. It just a lot of fun!

Do you have a most embarrassing moment you would like to share?

I don’t think I recall any embarrassing moment at cue camp.

Do you get more interaction with other deaf or hard of hearing individuals at the camp than you normally do in everyday life?


Do you meet many other cuers outside of the camp?

Not here in Panama City, but in Virginia where I used to live, there were a lot of people who cues there.

I know that Virginia is where you are originally from, how has the move to Florida been different from your life in Virginia?

There isn’t any differences.

How is the deaf community you interacted with in Virginia different from the deaf community you interact with here in Panama City?

In Virginia, there was an organization called Tidewater Association for Hearing Impaired Children. They had a lot of social events to go to. I haven’t heard of any organizations like that here in Panama City.

Have you attended any of the other carious cue camps offered around the nation?

I’ve attended Cue Camp in Maryland and North Carolina. There are also other cue camps in Maine, New York, Utah and Illinois.

Why choose to learn cued speech as opposed to American Sign Language or some other sign system?

I was 3 years old and my mother chose to do cued speech and I’m glad she did. I feel like it has helped my grammar and helped me to be more vocal.

Do all the members of your family know Cued Speech? Do they all communicate with you using cued speech?

Besides my mom, my dad knows a little Cued Speech but we read lips all the time. My cochlear implant helps me to hear some.

Are you fluent in American Sign Language or another sign system?

I am not fluent but I know some sign language.

Do you feel that knowing or not knowing another sign system gives you an advantage/disadvantage in communicating with the hearing community?

Cued Speech has helped me learn to read better and also has helped be speak better and become a better lip reader, so I’d have to say knowing cued speech has given me an advantage. I know some sign language but I don’t feel that I’m at a disadvantage just because I’m not fluent in it.

Are you able to interact in the hearing community without an interpreter? If so, how?

Yes, as long as it’s speaking one on one and not in a large group with people all talking at one time. I just speak to them and if they don’t understand then I say it again. If I don’t understand them then I ask them if they could repeat it. People who talk real fast are hard for me to understand and even if an interpreter is cueing for me it’s still too hard to see the cues that fast.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about Cued Speech and/or Cue Camp Virginia?

The website that you posted is very explanatory about Cued Speech. Cue Camp Virginia is a lot of fun whether you cue or sign or even if you don’t know either one. It’s a fun and relaxing place to learn about Cued Speech.

4 comments so far

  1. sunnymama on

    Thank you for this! We have begun to cue with our 18 month old who is deaf and has one implant. Her outcome for hearing and language is vague right now and so we chose cuing. There is NO one in Kansas who cues so we feel secluded but we know it is the right decision!!!

    • DSS of GCCC on

      Thank you for sharing with us as well. Samantha’s mother works for our DSS program here at the college as well cuing for her daughter. After talking with both of them at length, both Samantha and her mother, Sandra, have expressed their belief in the great benefits that cued speech has had on Samantha’s grammar, vocalization, and communication skills. There is a lot of information out there on the internet and through organizations dedicated to cued speech. We wrote a post here on this blog not too long ago about cued speech. That post can be read here: http://dssofgccc.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/cued-speech/

      Samantha, too, is our only student who cues here on the campus, and this was one of the difficulties she faced when moving to Panama City from Virginia, where there was a large cueing population. Here, there are very few cuers, and as we said, Samantha is the only one of our students who cue. But to talk with her she firmly expresses that she believes cueing was the right choice as well. With the rise in the use of cochlear implants, more people will turn to cuing. And cuing has become a popular method of phonetic communication to be taught to individuals with communication and language disorders.

      Keep following our blog. We hope to continue providing information to the public that aids in diversity and awareness for disabilities. And we’re sure there will be more posts to come on cued speech, as well 🙂

    • Diane on

      Wow! It gives me chills. One of the most difficult decisions a parent has to make when they find out their child is deaf is the “language” decision. I can remember the angst of the families that I worked with in California.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NCSA and Andy Houghton, Andy Houghton. Andy Houghton said: RT @CuedSpeech: …an interview with Samantha- Cue Camp VA and being a deaf Cuer: http://t.co/IIjs9ii […]

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