recognition of news coverage that helped promote public
awareness of communication disorders, the American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association (ASHA) has named NBC's TODAY
Show, USA Today, Allied
Health Media, and NPR as the
winners of its 2014 media awards.
addition, ASHA is honoring members Ann W. Kummer, PhD, CCC-SLP; Patti Martin,
PhD, CCC-A; Yadira
Medina-Torres, MS, CCC-SLP;
and Sonja Pruitt-Lord, PhD, CCC-SLP as its 2014 Media Champions for their
grassroots media outreach.
awards will be presented this November at the ASHA Annual Convention in
"These awards acknowledge and honor reporting and messaging about the millions who live with communication disorders and the professionals whose work contributes enormously to improving their quality of life," said ASHA 2014 President Elizabeth McCrea, PhD, CCC-SLP.
"What's more, our media champions have given generously of their time and expertise as they have worked effectively with media to give the public important information and insights about the nature, significance, and treatment of communication disorders."
NBC's TODAY Show won for its May
2014 coverage on
advances in hearing aid technology that featured an interview with ASHA Chief
Staff Officer for Audiology Neil DiSarno, PhD, CCC-A. The national morning show segment reached
an audience of more than four million. TODAY showcased some of the
latest hearing aid technology, emphasizing the importance of seeing an
audiologist as a first step toward treating hearing problems and gave viewers
other positive and practical advice.
Today won for its
important follow-up coverage
of a study in Pediatrics on
stuttering in preschoolers. Unfortunately, initial media coverage propagated a
message that a "wait and see" approach is appropriate for children in this age group, as the study indicated there is
little evidence stuttering harms preschoolers' social and emotional development
and stated that best practice is waiting at least 12 months to seek treatment.
However, USA Today's follow-up piece
expressed the professional opinion of many U.S. speech-language pathologists that
such an approach is ill-advised, particularly in children at higher risk for
continued stuttering. ASHA members Tommie Robinson, Jr., PhD, CCC-SLP and Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP
were quoted and the Identify the Signs
campaign was highlighted as a resource for parents.
Allied Health Media, which runs
AudiologyOnline and SpeechPathology.com, won for its partnership with and
consistent promotion and coverage of the Identify
the Signs campaign. This included promotion of a video with ASHA 2013 President
Patricia A. Prelock, PhD, CCC-SLP; a feature article
with ASHA Director of Public Relations Joseph Cerquone about the development,
implementation, and impact of the campaign; letters from the editor that
included campaign information; and social media promotion. Allied Health Media
has also signed on as a partner of the International Communication Project 2014,
a collaborative undertaking of which ASHA is a founding member.
NPR won for its national piece
on voice banking, an emerging opportunity for patients to be able to utilize
their own voice long after they lose the ability to speak. The story featured a
man preparing to lose his speech because of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. After this coverage originated with NPR station KPLU-FM Seattle, it was picked up by NPR stations nationwide.
Champion Ann Kummer is being honored
for her long-time volunteer service as a media source. Most recently, she served
as a local spokesperson for the Identify
the Signs campaign to help raise awareness of the early warning signs of
communication disorders. Her efforts included television interviews with WXIX
(FOX affiliate) and WLWT (NBC affiliate) in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Patti Martin was named a Media
Champion for her varied contributions to raising public awareness during the
year, including her work as a subject matter expert in a story about infant
sleep sound machines and potential hearing damage. She was also highly involved
in the Identify the Signs campaign through her participation in a podcast on
newborn hearing screening and a live Google Hangout event. Both occurred during
the most recent Better Hearing and Speech Month.
named Yadira Medina-Torres a 2014 Media
Champion for her work to ensure the early detection message reached non-English-speaking
communities by serving as the Spanish-language spokesperson for the Identify
the Signs radio media tour in late 2013.
Champion Sonja Pruitt-Lord served as
an Identify the Signs spokesperson
for local public radio and TV interviews for KPBS (PBS affiliate) in San Diego,
California. In doing so, she helped raise awareness among parents of the importance of
early detection and intervention of communication disorders.
the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association
for more than 173,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech,
language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology
support personnel, and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and
assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic
treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify,
assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders.