Our founder

Jacqueline Stokes, BEd., Dip TEFL, MSc., LSLS Cert AVT®   

Jacqueline Stokes was an inspirational woman; the first Auditory Verbal therapist in the UK, with a heartfelt belief that all deaf children should be allowed to achieve their full potential. It is because of her personal drive, determination and passion that so many deaf children, now and in the future, will be able to benefit from Auditory Verbal therapy and listen, speak and achieve alongside their hearing peers.


Jacqueline trained at McGill University under Daniel Ling and worked in the US, Canada and  the UK. In 1999, following 13 years at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, she set up the Oxford Auditory Verbal Programme. The demand for Auditory Verbal therapy and the extent of the unmet need inspired her to found The Auditory Verbal Centre in 2002, registered charity number 1095133, which has since become Auditory Verbal UK.

Auditory Verbal UK would not exist without Jacqueline’s personal vision and commitment. From humble beginnings in the front room of her house, it is has grown to be a leading charity in the UK working with families and professionals to help deaf children to listen, speak and achieve. In founding AVUK, Jacqueline was determined that every family wanting their child to learn to listen and speak would have the opportunity to choose Auditory Verbal therapy.

Jacqueline’s work with babies, children and their parents was energetic and insightful and she helped them think creatively around the problems they faced. Thinking outside of the box was her forte. She was an exceptional Auditory Verbal therapist; an extraordinarily warm and caring person who was determined to find a way to help every child.

Jacqueline was also determined to increase the number of Auditory Verbal therapists so that many more families could benefit. Throughout her career, she shared her expertise with others, training and lecturing across the UK and internationally and mentoring therapists at home and abroad. Jacqueline developed Europe’s first postgraduate certificate and diploma in Auditory Verbal therapy, which was hosted by Aston University from 2008 to 2012. She went on to establish Auditory Verbal UK’s training programme, accredited by the AG Bell Academy and approved by the RCSLT, for professionals working in the NHS and private practice.

Jacqueline was the Editor of Hearing-Impaired Infants: Support in the First Eighteen Months, (Whurr Publishers, London, 1999). She also served on the NDCS National Advisory Group on Quality Standards in Early Intervention and on advisory boards for NDCS and Action on Hearing Loss/Department for Education funded projects.

In June 2002, Jacqueline was honoured with the prestigious Susan Schmid-Giovannini Award for outstanding Auditory Verbal therapists.

Jacqueline retired as Director of AVUK in January 2013 and sadly passed away on 24 December 2013 after a long battle with cancer.

Jacqueline’s legacy will be seen every day in the achievements of children graduating from AVUK and through the many professionals with whom she has shared her expertise. Through her inspirational work, many more deaf children will learn to listen and speak and realise their potential.

Thanks to Jacqueline, hundreds of young people will be able to achieve their potential – at school; in the workplace; in life.  She is an inspiration and has been the saviour of so many families who never dared to dream that their deaf child would be able to listen and speak on equal terms with their hearing peers.

How could we ever put into words the incredible part that you played in enabling our beloved grandson James to acquire his spoken language skills, whilst having such fun with you. Your joyful personality and expertise gives the children that have the privilege of learning with you the very best opportunity they could have to fulfil their potential.

There are but a very few people in life who have real passion for what they do. You are definitely one of those.