Home > Announcement > A new PBS show, “A Chance to Read “

A new PBS show, “A Chance to Read “

September 23, 2007

A new PBS show, “A Chance to Read,” highlights new strategies that special education teachers across the country are using to help students find success. 


With a provocative premise that claims society “assumes” children with disabilities can’t learn to read well, the program explores a revolutionary program for deaf and hard of hearing students in Burnsville , Minnesota , that combines cued English with American Sign Language that’s finding surprising success. 


In the program, Georgetown University neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Koo cites statistics showing that the average student who is deaf graduates from high school today with a third- to fourth-grade reading level.


“A Chance to Read” also profiles an innovative literacy program for students who have cognitive disabilities; highlights the importance – and difficulty – of learning Braille; follows an unusual program for students who are “twice-exceptional”; and features emerging assistive technologies.


Hosted by actress Molly Ringwald, who grew up reading to her jazz musician father, who is blind, “A Chance to Read” will air on public television stations this fall (check local listings). For more information about the show, or to watch it online, please click here.  


Best regards,




Laurie Fry

Reading Rockets



Categories: Announcement
  1. Lisa Marie
    September 23, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Coed speech and reading? I am not sure if it’s really succeed? As I watch the video, I don’t understand about what they say…they coed while reading. It’s new to me but does it work well for them? I think it’s annoying for me. I am trying to research more what coed speech is really like…

  2. Lisa Marie
    September 23, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Well, I researched about the coed speech. It’s interesting. Here is the website that explains what Coed Speech is. http://www.cuedspeech.com/whatis.asp
    Here is the brief meaning of coed speech:
    1. Cues every phoneme
    2. Focuses sounds and syllables of languages
    3. Provides visual access to rhyming
    4. Enables them to develop a complete phonemic model of langauge.

    Well, I think they still can read and sign in ASL to enable the children to understand the concepts and to feel to be part in the story. They can do both ways…but not just coed speech while reading. If they only do the coed speech, they may miss some concepts. It’s still new to me and what do you think?

  3. Anonymous
    September 23, 2007 at 10:54 am
  4. Lisa Marie
    September 23, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Oh, my gosh! I watched this cue-speech-billy…I thought it could be okay just for reading to get an idea…but not as for life time! Gasp! It already killed me as I watched this video clip. If the teachers wanted to do it, it’s better for a limited time only for reading. But I think ASL is the most beautiful thing and the best key for Deaf/deaf children. If I take a charge for deaf school, I will NOT allow the coed-speech in my school.

  5. Mike
    September 23, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I learned it when I was a kid. I don’t use it anymore. It was interesting and hard. ASL is much better than cued speech.

  6. September 23, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    I’m sick and tired of people trying to find other ways to teach Deaf and/or HH children. FYI, before Milan, Italy in 1880, Deaf people’s English skills were CHAMP! They were even editors for hearing newspapers and etc. Since oralism came in, screw things up, then in 1970’s, SEE and all that EVEN worse. No wonder average high school students graduate with 3rd-4th grade level. BUT for your information, this stats is outdated and people are still quoting it!!! Stop that! And secondly, HEARING people graduate with average 4th-5th grade reading level, only one grade above Deaf people! Most newspapers are written at 4th or 5th grade level!

    The best way to teach Deaf and/or HH children is have strong foundation of ASL, THEN teach English, they will learn wonderfully.

    Cued Speech is an easy way out for teachers and parents who have HARD time (or claim not have time to) learn ASL.

  7. Puzzled
    September 23, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Yeah, I don’t understand people who don’t learn ASL for their children. It is not that hard to learn it on a functional level. You won’t sign perfectly, but within a year of studying it most people can at least communicate decently with Deaf people. Am I wrong? Especially if you are really motivated because, oh, I don’t know, YOUR CHILD IS DEAF?!! Geez.

  8. Jimmer
    September 30, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    I have this little thought…

    A neurologist from Georgetown claims that statistics show that an average student who is deaf graduates from high school today with a third- to fourth-grade reading level.

    Well, I am sure that the neurologist has a third- or fourth grade level of ASL receptive level. Or lower.

    Just a thought…

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