Auditory Verbal UK is a small national charity that helps babies and young children to listen and speak using Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT). We share our skills and expertise with professionals working in the field of hearing impairment through training and mentoring programmes. We believe that every child who is deaf should have the opportunity to listen, talk and participate fully in society. AVT is a specialist programme that equips parents and carers with the skills to develop their child’s listening and spoken language skills. It is a play-based approach delivered by Auditory Verbal Therapists who have undergone postgraduate training in this highly specialised area. Children with hearing impairment typically acquire language at half the rate of their hearing peers and our programme with babies and pre-school children accelerates the rate of language development and aims to close the gap by the time a child starts school.
Auditory VerbalUK was founded in 2003 to raise expectations for deaf children and to provide access to Auditory Verbal Therapy for the first time in the UK. Our Founding Director, Jacqueline Stokes, brought Auditory Verbal Therapy to the UK after training in Canada and seeing what more could be achieved for deaf children using an approach that was increasingly available abroad. After working with children from her home in Oxfordshire, she established the Auditory Verbal Centre (AVUK) which now has a team of 14 staff and has supported over 1,000 families and increased the number of specialist therapists through its accredited training programme across the UK.
Auditory Verbal Therapy enables children who are deaf to learn to listen and speak. We work one-to-one with families, giving parents and carers the skills to help their child make progress. Over 80 percent of the children we see at AVUK develop listening and speech appropriate for their age and go on to attend mainstream schools.
AVUK knows that effective intervention with babies and very young deaf children can have a life-shaping impact on their language and learning outcomes. We want every family to have information and access to Auditory Verbal Therapy, if they want their deaf child to learn to listen and speak. We are working to achieve our vision by offering services directly to families; by sharing our expertise with professionals so they can deliver successful outcomes for deaf children and their families in their local areas and by working in partnership with a wide range of organisations to raise expectations for deaf children in society.