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Lets Celebrate Our Professions


									Let’s Celebrate Our

TSHA’s Guide to Celebrating
May Is Better Hearing
and Speech Month

Do your friends, coworkers, family members,
or community members know what you do?
REALLY know what you do?

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
(MBHSM) and is the perfect time to share
what it is that our professions do.
    Let’s Celebrate Our

    TSHA’s Guide to Celebrating
    May Is Better Hearing
    and Speech Month
    Better Hearing and Speech Month began in 1927.
    Speech-language pathologists and audiologists
    use this month to raise public awareness and to
    educate and inform the public of hearing, speech,
    and language disorders that affect people across the
    country and what professionals people should see
    if they have a concern.

    This resource is designed to make the task of raising
    public awareness seem somewhat simpler. We
    hope it will inspire you to create your own ideas,
    provide you with information and ideas to celebrate
    May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and raise
    others’ awareness of communication disorders and
    our professions.

2                                         Let’s Celebrate Our Professions
Did You Know?                                    23.
                                                       Spasmodic Dysphonia
                                                       Tracheostomy Patients
According to the American Speech-                25.   Stroke
Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Web          26.   Stuttering
site <>, a speech-language           27.   Traumatic Brain Injury
pathologist (SLP) helps “people develop their    28.   Vocal Nodules
communication abilities and treat speech,        29.   Vocal Fold Paralysis
language, swallowing, and voice disorders.       30.   Voice Problems
Their services include prevention, identifica-
tion, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilita-
tion of communication disorders.” They           According to the ASHA Web site, an audiol-
have master’s degrees, certification (CCC,       ogist is a “hearing healthcare professional
Certificate of Clinical Competence) through      who specializes in prevention, identification
ASHA, and in Texas are licensed by the State     and assessment of hearing disorders.” They
Board of Examiners for Speech-Language           have master’s degrees, certification (CCC,
Pathology and Audiology.                         Certificate of Clinical Competence) through
                                                 ASHA, and in Texas are licensed by the State
The following are topics that speech-lan-        Board of Examiners for Speech-Language
guage pathologists may address:                  Pathology and Audiology.
1. AAC — Augmentative and Alternative
    Communication                                The following are topics that audiologists
2. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)           may address:
3. Aphasia                                       1. Adult Hearing Tests
4. Apraxia in Adults                             2. Assistive Listening Devices
5. Articulation Disorders                        3. Auditory Neuropathy
6. Attention Deficit Disorder                    4. Auditory Processing
7. Childhood Apraxia of Speech                   5. Cerumen Management
8. Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation               6. Cochlear Implant Assessment, Fitting,
9. Dementia                                          Programming, and Rehabilitation
10. Dysarthria                                   7. Conductive Hearing Loss
11. Early Literacy                               8. Hearing Aid Prescribing and Fitting
12. Feeding and Swallowing Disorders             9. Mixed Hearing Loss
13. Head and Neck Cancer (laryngeal can-         10. Pediatric Hearing Tests
    cer, oral cancer, and subsequent swal-       11. Otoacoustic Emissions
    lowing problems)                             12. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
14. Hearing Loss in Childhood and Adults         13. Tinnitus
15. Huntington’s Disease                         14. Vestibular Disorders
16. Language Based Learning Difficulties
17. Language Delays and Disorders
18. Long-Term Recovery after Stroke
19. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
20. Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement
21. Right Hemisphere Brain Damage
22. Selective Mutism

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month                                                        3
Just the Facts!

    • Over 42 million Americans are affected by a communication disorder.

    • About 30 million people in the US have some form of reduced
      hearing sensitivity.

    • Over 1 million children in the United States have some
      type of a hearing loss.

    • Three in 1,000 babies born have a significant hearing loss.

    • Any degree of hearing loss can be educationally harmful.

    • Hearing loss is the most common congenital disorder.

    • No child is too young for a hearing test.

    • An estimated 6 million children under age 18 have a speech
      or language disorder.

    • Approximately 1 million people in the United States have aphasia.

    • Ten percent of children entering first grade have a moderate to
      severe speech disorder.

    • Seven and one-half million people have voice disorders.

4                                                               Let’s Celebrate Our Professions
How am I going to                                    resource. Once they know what you do they
                                                     may not use your idea at that time, but may
celebrate?                                           need you at a later date. Return their calls or
                                                     e-mails promptly. Make sure you are pre-
                                                     pared. Have a fact sheet readily available
                                                     about communication disorders or the spe-
                 We can all buy little things to
                                                     cific story you have offered. Newspaper
                 use during May from the
                                                     reporters will want pictures, so have some
TSHA or ASHA Web sites, but… let’s also
                                                     ready to offer. Interviews from the media
get our stories out to the media!
                                                     may be intimidating. You must get to “the
Maybe you want to contact the media to               point” quickly so that when you are edited
share your story. It may seem overwhelming           the facts are there.
but here are some tips to help you do it!
                                                     Contact your legislator!
Tips To Successfully Tell
                                                                        Why not drop a letter to
Your Story                                                              your legislator or invite
                                                                        him/her to your place of
                                                                        business (with the appro-
                   (Adapted from “Tips for Telling
                   Your Story to the Media” ASHA     priate consents from families, administrators,
                   Leader, February 4, 2003)         etc.)? You may find your legislators at
                                                     <>. The TSHA Web
Identify those newspaper or TV reporters             site <> also has information
who write about health or educational                regarding contacting legislators. You may
issues. They will be your best resources.            also find your senators and representatives
Before contacting the media, develop your            at <>. Click on
story idea. It is important to personalize your      “search by state.” When writing state sena-
story. Plan your story from the perspective of       tors and representatives, address the
a person who is not necessarily interested in        letter in this way:
communication disorders or one who does
not have a great deal of knowledge about             The Honorable (insert state Senator name)
them. Focus on the pieces of your story that         Texas Senate
will be of interest to those people. Find out        PO Box 12068
what stories particular reporters have written       Austin, TX 78711-2068
in the past, so that your story is not a             The Honorable (insert Representative name)
“repeat.” Find out about their deadlines and         Texas House of Representatives
give them plenty of time to complete your            PO Box 2910
story. Don’t wait until the last minute. You         Austin, TX 78768-2910
must not be shy about what you do. Are you
doing something very unique? Or is it part of
a new trend? If one reporter turns you
down, offer your story to another. Don’t give
up. Make yourself available to them as a

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month                                                            5
Celebration Ideas for May                          8.   Have the kids create a school newsletter
                                                        to be distributed in May.

                                                   9.   Have a contest for students or cowork-
                                                        ers (e.g., guess how loud certain envi-
                                                        ronmental sounds are, guess the list of
                                                        acronyms used in the profession) and
                                                        the prize could be a BHSM pen.
1.   Have a listening contest. Play a couple
     of sounds over the PA system in the           10. Have a scavenger hunt with items that
     morning and have the classes work                 pertain to speech-language pathology
     together to guess the sounds.                     and audiology and use them as teaching
                                                       tools in explaining communication dis-
2.   Older children may enjoy a hearing                orders.
     conservation activity. Using a sound
     level meter go to different areas of the      11. Create or purchase brochures or hand-
     school and see how loud it is.                    outs with information about speech,
                                                       language, and hearing disorders.
3.   Have children receiving speech-lan-               Distribute them to daycare centers,
     guage services make gifts for the teach-          doctors’ offices, private schools, and
     ers and administrators and attach some            psychologists’ offices. Brochures can be
     information about communication dis-              found at low or no cost through organi-
     orders and speech-language patholo-               zations such as ASHA, TSHA, AG Bell,
     gists and audiologists.                           Stuttering Foundation of America, and
                                                       National Institute on Deafness and
4.   Have children read public service                 Other Communication Disorders
     announcements (PSAs) or well-                     (NIDCD).
     referenced factoids over the PA
     system every morning.                         12. Provide an in-service to school adminis-
                                                       trators about what you do. The in-serv-
5.   Have children help create bulletin                ice should discuss what communication
     boards in the hallways about communi-             disorders are, who SLPs and audiolo-
     cation. How many ways can you com-                gists are, and, with appropriate consent,
     municate?                                         tell the story of a child or family with
                                                       whom you have worked.
6.   Have contests in the classroom where
     the kids try to communicate when pre-         13. Talk with hospitals, police, and fire fight-
     sented with certain barriers.                     er groups about communicating with
                                                       people who have hearing loss.
7.   Coordinate with a bookstore or public
     library to present in the children’s
     department to parents. (Use topics such
     as prereading skills and the role of the
     SLP in literacy.) Read a story to the kids.

6                                                                  Let’s Celebrate Our Professions
14. Host a children’s health fair with several    22. Donate a copy of your favorite
    speech-language pathologists and audi-            children’s book to your school or
    ologists. Provide free speech and lan-            public library with a note inside
    guage screenings, hearing screenings (if          commemorating the occasion.
    possible), and written information on
    hearing loss, ear infections, and hearing     23. Buy Shoppe TSHA items to give to
    conservation and information on                   your colleagues, patients, and families.
    speech-language disorders in adults.              <
15. Display posters appropriate to your set-
    ting, adult or pediatric, about pertinent
    topics (e.g., stroke prevention, prelitera-   Resources Information and
    cy skills).
16. Send daily/weekly e-mails to coworkers
    with “facts of the day” related to com-
    munication disorders.

17. Proudly wear or use products from
    Shoppe TSHA and when people
    ask about TSHA tell them about the            Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    professions.                                  <>
18. Put doughnuts or another enticing treat       Visit all of the vendors at Convention to see
    in a common work area (e.g., teacher’s        their possible merchandise for May is Better
    lounge) and attach information about          Hearing and Speech Month.
    communication disorders.
                                                  Sample public service announcements
19. Contact a local radio station with a PSA.     are available from TSHA and on the ASHA
    Samples of these are available through        Web site.
    TSHA and ASHA. A PSA is generic and
    not an advertisement for a specific facil-    Public Relations Guide available through
    ity. Providing them with TSHA’s phone         ASHA, 800/498-2071
    number or email address at the end in
    order to locate a speech or hearing pro-      ASHA Leader, February 4, 2003
    fessional is best.
                                                  Communication: The Human Connection
20. Contact your local newspaper or TV            [Film]. (Available through ASHA, 800/498-
    reporter for a story in May related to        2071)
    communication disorders.
                                                  American Speech-Language-Hearing
21. Talk with high school classes or job fairs    Association <>
    about the professions of speech-lan-          <>
    guage pathology and audiology.                1/866-234-2476
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month                                                           7
Start planning early so that
your May is a success!

Please write or e-mail us and tell us about your
ideas and how you celebrated this May!

Melissa Sweeney
1966 Inwood Rd.
Dallas, TX 75235

Adrienne Acrey
1015 E. Yager Lane #66
Austin, TX 78753

                 This information is presented by the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing
                 Association (TSHA). It is designed to inform the general public about the
                 professions of audiology and speech-language pathology and the help
                 available from these professionals. For fur ther information contact:
                 Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association
                 918 Congress Ave., Ste. 200 • Austin, TX 78701
                 512/494-1127 • 888/SAY-TSHA
                 512/494-1129 fax


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