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For the past 22 years, Carol Brown-Hubbard has succeeded in gaining official recognition for BHSM from each Lynchburg, Virginia, mayor’s office.

Not content to let OT’s have all the fun (April was OT month), speech therapists and audiologists take center stage in May with Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). BHSM is brought to you by the fine folks at ASHA and is designed to bring awareness to speech and hearing disorders, while highlighting the critical work being done by SLP’s and audiologists in providing life-altering treatment. Established in 1927, the month is filled with live events, public information campaigns, and the release of comprehensive research studies. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan – who suffered from hearing loss – became the first president to issue a formal proclamation. The month also brings hearing loss screenings to the fore, with free or reduced cost screenings and various financial incentives on hearing aids. For 2016, the operating slogan is: Communication Takes Care, a theme that encompasses both the compassionate care exhibited by our speech and hearing professionals, as well as the challenging nature of changing communication patterns and habits.

For BHSM in 2012, Mary Underwood’s client wrote several poems to honor her SLPs and to express her feeling about her voice before and after treatment.

In conjunction with BHSM, ASHA has released a wide-ranging poll on the effects of popular technology devices in child/adult communication habits. These devices bring a host of potential pitfalls, as well as opportunities. In fact, speech professionals deemed excessive technology use by children in replicating conversation and human interaction, to be a preeminent concern. ASHA is working overtime to engage on these modern obstacles to our ability to connect, verbalize, and listen. At Advanced Medical, our speech therapists work in various settings to bring practical and achievable solutions for effective communication. This month, we intend to highlight our SLP’s in ways that broaden your understanding of the wide scope encompassed in their work. Whether it be our new grad SLP’s mentors working to assist our young therapists adapt to working in skilled nursing facilities or our school-based SLP’s who positively impact the speaking, thinking, reading, and learning of our children, this month is all about them.

Tricia Mikula celebrated BHSM 2009 by giving her kids BHSM balloons and their moms emory boards. Tricia also visited local doctor’s offices and delivered “goodies” with her business card.

One of my favorite features presented by ASHA, consists of stories via a national interactive map that demonstrate ingenuity and creativity in emphasizing BHSM. I’ve included some of my favorites throughout the blog post. We encourage you to check out these stories and contribute your own. Stay tuned for giveaways and blog features celebrating BHSM all month long and remember to “communicate with care”.

Until next time…