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ASHA to Mark Better Hearing & Speech Month (May) by Providing Public With Information to Foster Communication, Manage Disorders Despite COVID-19 Barriers

April 30, 2020

(Rockville, MD) As millions of Americans with communication disorders shelter at home, many are facing disruptions to treatment or highly modified therapy services. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) will use this year’s Better Hearing & Speech Month (May) observance to provide resources to help the public manage their conditions at this unprecedented time.

With “Communication at Work” the ASHA-designated theme for the month, the 2020 awareness campaign will inform the public of ways they can enhance everyday communication at and from home. It will also address some unique challenges associated with speech, language, swallowing, and hearing disorders in the current environment. Throughout the month, ASHA will distribute resources for more than a dozen focus areas.

“Our goal is to champion every person’s ability to communicate, including at this difficult time,” ASHA President Theresa H. Rodgers, MA, CCC-SLP, said. “Although circumstances are quite unprecedented for this year’s Better Hearing & Speech Month, the expertise and dedication of ASHA members are constant. The countless, innovative ways audiologists and speech-language pathologists have transformed their work during the pandemic—striving to help their patients, clients, and students to the fullest extent possible—testify to their unwavering commitment to ASHA’s vision of making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.”

ASHA’s May outreach will cover a variety of topics, including the following:

  • Early Intervention and COVID-19: Advice for Parents of Children Whose Services Are Interrupted
  • Building Preschoolers’ Speech and Language Skills at Home
  • School Services, Interrupted: What Parents of Students Receiving Speech and Language Treatment in Schools Should Know During Closures
  • Helping Children With Language Disorders Maintain Social Connection While at Home
  • Zoom Meetings and Stuttering: Tips to Make Virtual Interactions More Successful
  • Caring for Your Child’s Hearing Health at Home
  • Hearing Loss in Adults: Strategies at Home
  • Hearing Loss and Remote Work: Effective Communication During Virtual Meetings
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication and COVID-19: Enabling Communication for Acute Care Patients

For more information and to view available resources, visit www.asha.org/bhsm.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 211,000 members and affiliates who are 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.


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