Auditory Verbal UK 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 (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 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. AVUK now has a team of 18 staff who work from two established centres in London and Bicester. We provide support to over 100 families a year and approximately 80% of our graduates achieve language skills equal to their hearing peers. To date, we have shared our clinical expertise with over 1,000 hearing impairment professionals and run an internationally accredited programme of training in Auditory Verbal therapy. We subsidise all of our services for families through our fundraising efforts and offer a bursary scheme.


The timeline below shows key dates in AVUK’s history:

1996

Our founder, Jacqueline Stokes, qualifies as a listening and spoken language specialist (LSLS Cert AVT®) under Dr Daniel Ling.

1999

Jacqueline leaves the NHS to work with families in a private setting.

2000

Jacqueline begins the process of planning for how more families could benefit from the service with the goal of launching a new charitable initiative. 

2001

The introduction of the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme means that demand for early intervention begins to increase.

2002

The first trustees are recruited and the charity is registered with the Charity Commission. 

2003

The first AVUK centre opens at Bignell Park Barns near Bicester, Oxfordshire. Jacqueline recruits Elizabeth Tyszkiewicz. 

2004

Catherine White joins as an Auditory Verbal therapist trainee.

2006

Sarah Hogan joins the team as research co-ordinator and later trains as an Auditory Verbal therapist.

2007

Isobel Weller, a qualified social worker, is recruited to provide support to all our past and present families.

2008

We publish our peer-reviewed research, demonstrating the successful outcomes of the auditory verbal approach in a leading deafness education journal.

We launch our Reach Out programme to widen access to families on low incomes. The success of the project assisted in dispelling the myth that auditory verbal therapy is only suitable for those with more money or time to engage.

2010

We’re awarded the GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Award for ‘Excellence in Community Healthcare’.

We open a satellite centre in London to support a growing number of families from Greater London.

2012

We run our first 6 month ‘Working Through Audition’ course for teachers of the deaf, speech and language therapists and audiologists. This is Part 1 of our accredited training package for professionals who want to qualify as an LSLS Cert AVT®.

Aware that families with small children were having to travel long distances to access auditory verbal therapy, we introduce auditory verbal therapy Skype Sessions.

2013

Founding Director, Jacqueline Stokes retires. Anita Grover is appointed Chief Executive.

Listen and Talk As One is established, bringing together highly specialist hearing evaluation by Chear with auditory verbal therapy, supported by leading hearing technology manufacturer, Phonak.

We run our first ‘Auditory Verbal Therapy Principles in Everyday Practice’ training course for professionals. This is Part 2 of our accredited training package in become an LSLS Cert AVT®.

2014

Part 2 of our training package is launched as a distance learning course, enabling Teachers of the Deaf, audiologists and speech and language therapists to participate regardless of physical locations.

Our CEO Anita Grover becomes the first UK CEO to be  awarded the Macquarie Group David Clarke Social Innovation Fellowship which funds a research trip to Australia and New Zealand.

We are Highly Commended for ‘Charity of the Year with an income under £1 million’ at the Charity Times Awards.

In conjunction with The Hearing Hub, we launch a 12-month pilot scheme in Belfast to raise awareness and expectations in Northern Ireland.

We receive over £500,000 thanks to our transformative partnership with The October Club.

2015

We introduce auditory verbal therapy to the Republic of Ireland as part of a collaboration with parent group, Our New Ears.

Rosie Quayle, our Clinical Lead, is awarded the Churchill Travelling Fellowship, and travels to Australasia to share clinical expertise with auditory verbal therapists and partner practitioners.

Our Young Ambassador, James Curtis is awarded Children’s Achievement of the Year at the Children and Young People Now Awards. AVUK is a finalist in the category of Early Intervention, Learning and Charity of the Year.

James is Highly Commended for Young Person of the Year at the Shine A Light Awards.

AVUK is shortlisted as the Guardian Charity of the Year. 

We run our first 6 month Part 1 distance learning course, and deliver intensive Part 1 courses to professionals in Denmark and Dublin. 

2016

We host our first Power of Speech event at the House of Commons. 

We publish our Five Year Strategy, Position Paper, and Cost benefit Analysis which showed that for every £1 invested in our auditory verbal therapy programme there is a £4 return. 

Noel Kenely, who joined AVUK in 2014, qualifies as LSLS Cert AVT®.

Our CEO wins the 2016 ACEVO fellowship.

AVUK wins Learning award at the Children and Young People Now awards – for the initiative that has made the best contribution to improving educational achievement.

AVUK hosts its first Christmas carol evening in London showcasing the talents of AVUK graduates.