Generally the aim will be to see your child develop oral language skills on a par or superior to their hearing peers.


An oral with visual support option focuses on a rehabilitative philosophy. Where it differs from an Oral-only approach is that reliance on additional visual support is encouraged.

It may use methods such as Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) to develop and strengthen a child’s oral language.

This approach leverages visual clues such as gestures, body language, SEE (Signed Exact English), Cued Speech signs and/or lipreading.

This option is only appropriate for those making full use of appropriate technology such as hearing aids, conductive aids and cochlear implants. Children taking this approach need to have close to full access to at least the ‘speech banana’ on an audiogram. This may be a more appropriate option if your child has some cognitive or physical limitation to their hearing even after the best technology is applied.


  • ‘Normalisation’ of the child in his or her social setting
  • Full access to education without needing additional support – if started early enough
  • Follows the ‘normal’ developmental flow for language, reading and writing
  • Ability to connect naturally with wider family especially when there are no other family members with hearing loss – 90%+ of cases.
  • May have some ability to communicate without a prosthetic device
  • Leverages multiple modes of communication
  • Follows english grammatical patterns


  • Management of technology
  • Significant dependence on a prosthetic device
  • Limited ability to connect with the NZSL/Deaf community
  • Limited fallback option if technology fails
  • Research suggests that mixing language modes results in poorer expressive oral language production


[To be completed]

Resources for further investigation