As The Arizona Republic writes: "doctors had said they should be able to evaluate her ability to speak once the breathing tube was out."
The Arizona Democrat, and 19 other people, were shot on Jan. 8 at an outdoor event she was holding in Tucson. Six people died. Giffords, who was shot in the head, remains in critical condition. But doctors have said she is doing remarkably well. (Update at 9:45 p.m. ET: Her condition has now been upgraded to "serious.")
In recent days she has been opening her eyes and responding to simple requests. Giffords' doctors have said that being able to do those things are encouraging signs for someone recovering from a serious brain injury. Speaking will be another major test.