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Masters of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certification

Visual Phonics - Topic 60

What is it?

Visual Phonics is a set of hand and grapheme cues that are representative of the phonemes in spoken language.  These are used for students who are deaf or hard of hearing as a method to teach phonemic awareness.  The process includes three main procedures: 1) training teachers and other professionals how to use the system (This training should be provided by a licensed International Communication Leaning Institute). 2) Next professionals need to identify where they are going to apply Visual Phonics to their current reading and spelling programs. 3) Finally, professionals need to apply the system by incorporating it into their reading instruction.

Why is it important?

Visual Phonics is an important learning tool because it works towards the strengths of the deaf community.  Visually based instruction can help to teach deaf students how to break down the complex pieces of words that ultimately lead to reading comprehension.  

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Trezek, B.J., & Malmgren, K. W. (2005).  The efficacy of utilizing a phonics treatment package with

middle school deaf and hard of hearing students. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf

Education, 10, 256-271.

Trezek, B.J., & Yang, Y. (2006).  Implications of utilizing  phonics-based reading curriculum with

children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11,


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