Auditory Verbal UK was founded 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 (LSLS Cert AVT®) brought Auditory Verbal therapy to the UK after training in Canada and seeing what could be achieved for deaf children. The Auditory Verbal approach forms part of mainstream support for deaf children in North America, Denmark and Australasia. After working with children from her home in Oxfordshire, Jacqueline established the charity, Auditory Verbal UK and led it until her retirement in 2012.

Key moments

In 1996 Jacqueline Stokes certified as an Auditory Verbal therapist and in 1999 began delivering Auditory Verbal therapy to families for the first time in the UK.

In 2002 Stokes recruited our first trustees and registers as a charity under the name The Auditory Verbal Centre to be able to deliver therapy to families who are unable to pay.

In 2008 the charity recruited a research coordinator to begin demonstrating the successful outcomes of the approach. In this year we also launched our Reach Out programme to help widen access to low income families. We now have our Family Bursary Fund which enables over half of the families we work with to access our programme.

To be able to make Auditory Verbal therapy more accessible to families across the country, we launched our Foundation course in Auditory Verbal therapy in 2012. In 2013 our first Advanced course in Auditory Verbal therapy began, meaning that professionals working with deaf children can undertake all training and mentoring required to sit the LSLS Cert AVT qualification through AVUK’s training package. To date, we have worked with over 1,000 professionals working in the NHS and local authority settings.

In 2013 Anita Grover was recruited as the Chief Executive of the organisation following Jacqueline Stokes’ retirement.

In 2016, we hosted an event at the House of Commons, called Power of Speech, which showcased the incredible listening and spoken language skills of our graduates. This event now takes place once every two years to help raise awareness of the communication approach for deaf children amongst MPs and sector leading professionals.

Since it was founded, Auditory Verbal UK has worked with over 1,000 families. Our research team has published a number of outcomes studies demonstrating the success of our work. A ten-year audit, published in 2018, demonstrated that 97% of deaf children without additional needs who accessed our programme for at least two years received age-appropriate language. 1 in 2 deaf children with additional needs, such as Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy, achieved age-appropriate language.

Our five year strategy, published in 2016, outlines our plans for making sure that every child with hearing loss in the UK can have access to Auditory Verbal therapy.

Working under the direction of our trustees and chief executive, our team of over 20 staff members is made up of fundraisers, therapists, research coordinators, communications professionals and an operations team.

We have received a number of awards to acknowledge our sector leading work, including the Model of Excellence from the Centre for Social Justice, and highly commended Charity of the Year at the Third Sector Awards. A number of our graduates have also received national awards in recognition of their successes.

The charity receives no direct government funding and relies on the generosity of trusts, organisations and individuals to continue our work. If you are interested in supporting, please head to our donate page or contact our fundraising team on [email protected] or 020 7394 4353.