Position Statement: Spoken Language
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) fully supports the recommendation by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, published in 2007 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which states “families should be made aware of all communication options and available hearing technologies in an unbiased manner.”
AG Bell serves as a resource and advocate for those parents and individuals who choose to pursue the option and outcome of spoken language. AG Bell supports the development of spoken language through evidence-based practices focusing on the use of audition and appropriate technologies.
For families who choose to include communication approaches in addition to spoken language, AG Bell continues to provide support and resources with regard to listening and talking. Families and individuals wishing to learn about additional communication approaches are referred to other organizations that can provide relevant information and appropriate resources.
AG Bell works to expand the number of highly qualified professionals to ensure that all families who desire a spoken language outcome will have early and ongoing access to appropriate listening and spoken language services and resources.
AG Bell serves on a variety of coalitions that include organizations that support other modes of communication, such as Cued Speech, Signing Exact English, Total Communication and American Sign Language. Examples of these coalitions include the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance, and the Council on Education of the Deaf, among others.
Approved by the AG Bell Board of Directors by a unanimous vote June 26, 2008.