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Visual Phonics


What is ICLI?

“The International Communications Learning Institute (ICLI) was organized in 1982, to help those who are capable of thought to learn to the best of their ability. All our lives, we have known people who do not fit the “educational” norm. Everyone has their own style and pace of learning. Those who serve as directors and members of ICLI, believe that any person can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

Since its beginnings, ICLI has brought forth Visual Phonics, a program which puts into perspective not only the written form of language but also the real power of language, which is sound. Visual Phonics began as a grass-roots movement with individual service clubs sponsoring training seminars and began using Visual Phonics in their schools, clinics and homes. By 1989, over 60,000 children and adults across America were using Visual Phonics to help with communication, including speech articulation, reading and writing.”               -ICLI


What is Visual Phonics?

“See-the Sound/Visual Phonics was developed in 1982 at the International Communications Learning Institute. It uses a combination of tactile kinesthetic, visual and auditory feedback to assist in the development of phonemic awareness, speech production, and reading skills in children and adults who do not learn readily from traditional reading programs. Visual Phonics is being incorporated into curricula in a number of programs around the country. Those who use it find it extremely easy to use and effective when combined with a comprehensive reading program. Visual Phonics is not a communication method. Rather it is just one more strategy or “tool” to use with individuals who struggles with decoding, reading, writing and speech articulation. Since Visual Phonics is a multisensory approach to learning, those who use it fell it provides an excellent way to help students who are deaf, learning disabled, developmentally delayed, and speech impaired to “see” the sound and internalize English phonemes and understand how they map onto English letters and words.

Visual Phonics, because of its multi-sensory benefits, can help deaf students develop an inner phonological coding related to English structure, while using ASL, sign language or sign supported English as their primary language. This may help to make clearer to deaf students those connections to the parts of spoken words and their structure that often elude them and thereby assist in reading, spelling and phonemic awareness.

Visual Phonics has a written component, also. Each written symbol is a visual representation of the hand cue. The hand cues and written symbols under the written word help students make sense of the various ways to spell a sound in different context or words.

For hearing and deaf students with challenges to literacy, Visual Phonics works on the bottom-up process. This bottom-up process aids students in connecting the sounds of letters and words (which are the building blocks of sentences) with what they know about concepts in their language through texts, listening, speech reading, spelling, fingerspelling, Spoken English and Sign Language. This in turn supports fast and fluent analysis and recognition of spoken and written words which can lead to more fluent reading.

Before using the Visual Phonics system, participation in a training session given by a certified ICLI trainer is required. When the training session is complete, materials maybe purchased and the participants can begin to use the system.”          -ICLI

ICLI Certified Trainers at ASD:

Jane Amoruso, M. Ed.
Teacher of the Deaf
American School for the Deaf

Sharon Halscheid, M.A.
Teacher of the Deaf/Reading Coordinator
American School for the Deaf

Becky Peters, M.S.
Teacher of the Deaf
American School for the Deaf

Sharon Speranza, MS, CCC-SLP/A
Speech and Language Pathologist/Audiologist
American School for the Deaf


Upcoming Training
Please check ASD website for upcoming trainings


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