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Let’s Celebrate Our Professions 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 Professions 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. 24. Spasmodic Dysphonia Tracheostomy Patients According to the American Speech- 25. Stroke Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Web 26. Stuttering site <www.asha.org>, 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. <http://professional.asha.org/resources/bhs_psa.cfm> • About 30 million people in the US have some form of reduced hearing sensitivity. <www.hear-it.org/forside.dsp?forside=yes&area=34> • Over 1 million children in the United States have some type of a hearing loss. <www.asha.org/hearing/disorders/children.cfm> • Three in 1,000 babies born have a significant hearing loss. <www.agbell.org/information/brochures_faq.cfm> • Any degree of hearing loss can be educationally harmful. <www.agbell.org/information/brochures_faq.cfm> • Hearing loss is the most common congenital disorder. <www.asha.org/press/BHSM_tip_sheet.cfm> • No child is too young for a hearing test. <www.agbell.org/information/brochures_faq.cfm> • An estimated 6 million children under age 18 have a speech or language disorder. <www.asha.org/speech/development/schools_faq.cfm> • Approximately 1 million people in the United States have aphasia. <www.asha.org/press/BHSM_tip_sheet.cfm> • Ten percent of children entering first grade have a moderate to severe speech disorder. <www.asha.org/press/BHSM_tip_sheet.cfm> • Seven and one-half million people have voice disorders. <www.nidcd.nih.gov/index.asp> 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 <www.capitol.state.tx.us>. The TSHA Web Identify those newspaper or TV reporters site <www.txsha.org> 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 <www.capitoladvantage.com>. 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. <www.txsha.org/products/tsha_prod- ucts.html> 15. Display posters appropriate to your set- ting, adult or pediatric, about pertinent topics (e.g., stroke prevention, prelitera- Resources Information and cy skills). Merchandise: 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. <www.txsha.org> 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 <www.asha.org> about the professions of speech-lan- <www.betterhearingandspeech.com> guage pathology and audiology. 1/866-234-2476 <www.professional.asha.org/resources/bhs_ main.cfm> 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 email@example.com Adrienne Acrey 1015 E. Yager Lane #66 Austin, TX 78753 Aacrey@msn.com 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 www.txsha.org 3/03
"Lets Celebrate Our Professions"