Apart from being one of the most-loved months of spring, May is also known as Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). Every May, BHSM offers both health care providers and the general community the chance to raise awareness about a wide range of communication disorders and support the efforts of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in enhancing access to life-altering treatment and speech therapy options.
Communication Takes Care: A Chance to Use Speech Therapy to Create a Better Life for People with Speech or Hearing Disabilities
This year, the monthly campaign revolves around a new theme entitled Communication Takes Care. To support its mission and encourage as many individuals as possible to back this initiative to improve the lives of those struggling to overcome speech, language or hearing impairments, ASHA has developed an array of resources for their followers’ practices, including flyers, posters, hearing screening forms and a number of branded products available for purchase.
How Could One Help Recognize and Celebrate BHSM?
As ASHA representatives point out, anyone can help change the lives of those striving to overcome the limitations set in place by their communication disorders. Using the press release templates offered by ASHA, influencers can reach out to local media outlets to create and promote stories on early detection of the problem. Local public events also constitute excellent venues where a LNHA (licensed nursing home administrator), SLP (speech-language pathologist) and any provider of long-term care can speak about methods in which one could recognize and address the signs and symptoms or communication and swallowing disorders. Such events could capture the attention of local media representatives, maximizing exposure for BHSM.
After scheduling a speaking engagement based on the ready-made presentations crafted by ASHA, long-term care providers can target high-traffic areas where they could share additional information and maximize the success rate of their informative and educational campaign. By creating their own posters and flyers and displaying and distributing them via information tables and bulletin boards, long-term care providers can get actively involved in the ASHA annual campaign. At the same time, by simply being social and posting relevant articles and promoting facts related to communication disorders, accompanied by the hashtag #bhsm, on their social media accounts, healthcare providers can inform and educate a large segment of their audiences during BHSM, and raise awareness about ways to prevent and minimize the impact of communication impairments. In private practice, long-term care facilities and hospitals, employees can follow a similar approach to promoting the new theme of the 2016 Better Hearing and Speech Month.
For starters, staff members can visit other healthcare providers’ offices and schedule an open house to invite colleagues from other departments or clinics. By giving a short presentation or distributing information related to their services along with refreshments, speech therapists can promote their own strategies to put BHSM into the spotlight. For example, professionals could organize free hearing screenings, which constitute the highlights of some of the most popular Better Hearing and Speech Month events. There are several other tactics that experts in speech and hearing therapy could explore to achieve the best results-like placing informative materials in high-traffic areas or setting up information tables inside and outside their working environment, where they could distribute earplugs or host any other type of event-related giveaway.
All in all, anyone can back this initiative by becoming a part of the new stories of hope and recovery that will be told and promoted during this year’s Better Hearing and Speech Month. ASHA encourages audiologists and SLPs to get involved in this campaign by sharing their BHSM stories and letting the whole world know how they plan to use speech therapy success stories to support this month’s campaign. ASHA gives our community the opportunity to make their voice heard and make a difference in the lives of the people who are currently dealing with speech, language, hearing and swallowing disorders by introducing a line of branded products (wearables, bags and totes, speech language pathologist items, kits and sets and more) that could be purchased online. All these accessible goods enable SLPs and other healthcare providers to support the cause that they believe in, and highlight the importance of their services at the same time.
Let’s face it, little is known about the true scope of practice for Speech Language Pathology. Take this time to promote the impact SLPs have in our industry! Healthcare therapy Services, Inc. provides our therapists and partnering communities with a media kit to promote BHSM each May. Our SLPs are valued and provide a hope and a future to all they serve. We are proud to promote BHSM and would like to say, “Thank you” to all Speech Language Pathologists for their compassion and dedication to speech therapy.