SunDance Rehabilitation in Honolulu, Hawaii celebrated Better Hearing and Speech Month by:
- Joining the Hawaii Speech Hearing Language Association in the local mall with a four hour educational booth to provide information to the community regarding services that speech language pathologists offer in our profession.
- Free hearing screenings were provided to employees during break time with great support from the Administrator for attendance. Educational brochures regarding tips for protecting your hearing and improving listening skills were distributed.
- The Progressus Therapy/May is Better Hearing and Speech Month resources [PDF] were used to educate coworkers regarding comunication disorders in general.
- An inservice was provided on dysphagia referencing components of an evaluation that leads to rationale for diet consistency recommendations, aspiration risks, and reinforcing the stages of swallow as it relates to evaluation process.
- A May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month quiz was presented with prizes offered for those with correct answers. This generated great participation.
- The celebration ended with freshly baked pastry to acknowledge everyone's effort in providing carryover of safe swallow compensatory strategies, inserting hearing aids daily, using communication boards, and allowing adequate response time for communication when delayed speech patterns were evident.
Yolanda Miller, MA, CCC-SLP
In celebration of May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month, the following activities were held:
1. One training inservice was provided in a SNF on Communication Approaches with Individuals with Aphasia. I used the ASHA "Let's Talk" series on aphasia by Nina Simmons-Mackie. The ASHA "Older Voices Training Manual" Module 3 Aphasia Section was also incorporated. A Certificate of Participation verifying attendance in a training program focusing on the communication disorders and communication needs of older persons was issued. Role playing and inclusion of the entire interdisciplinary team were valuable in targeting the pertinence of effective communication exchange throughout all activities of daily living.
2. A second training session was held in the Senior Living Conference setting on Aural Rehabilitation. ASHA's brochures on " How Do I Know If I Have a Hearing Loss", " Making the Most of Your New Hearing Aids", " My Audiologist Recommends Hearing Aids...Now What?" were beneficial. Numerous ASHA Leader articles were referenced, particularly the April 15, 2008 article " Aging and Speech Communication" by Larry Humes. The "May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month" poster was displayed on our rehab door resulting in patient inquiries/referrals.
3. Elicited 43 responses to a five-question, multiple-choice answer "May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month" quiz. Prizes were awarded for participants. This was a great educational awareness tool.
4. Provided positive feedback to CNAs for utilization of safe swallow compensatory strategies during mealtime with residents. Kudos were given for these individuals over the intercom along with a candy bar of choice.
5. Lastly, a communication board was given to all social workers and activity staff that contained vocabulary in three languages (English, Japanese, Chinese). This was beneficial for communication with the varied ethnic population in this setting.
Yolanda Miller, MA, CCC-SLP