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Tap These Tools to Raise Awareness About Hearing and Speech

by Francine Pierson
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better hearing and speech month logo with "communication across the lifespan" theme

Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) is the communication sciences and disorders community’s biggest, most high-profile annual opportunity to promote the professions and raise awareness about communication disorders.

Below is some of what ASHA has in store. Please join us this May. It’s never been easier to be involved.

2019 theme

“Communication Across the Lifespan” is this year’s BHSM theme. A campaign logo and free resources—including posters, bookmarks, coloring pages, social media cover photos, and more—are already available at www.asha.org/bhsm, with more to come, including press release templates that you can easily customize, free patient handouts, and celebration/appreciation cards. Visit the site and continue to check back.

Weekly focus areas

To tie in with the “lifespan theme,” ASHA will spotlight communication disorders by age groups in each of four weeks. Shareable content will detail the unique signs, symptoms, life impacts, and treatment considerations relative to each age population for speech-language development and disorders, social communication, hearing, and feeding and swallowing.

Here’s a breakdown of the schedule:

Week 1—May 5–11: Communication Disorders in Infants

Week 2—May 12–18: Communication Disorders in Toddlers

Week 3—May 19–25: Communication Disorders in School-Aged Children

Week 4—May 26–31: Communication Disorders in Adults

ASHA’s public activities, social media, and more will be based on this schedule.

Social media contest—with prizes!

ASHA’s social media contest—”Speaking Up For Communication”—is one of the easiest and most fun ways to get involved. Members who sign up will receive emails throughout May featuring ready-made videos, graphics, and other social media shareables. Focused on the weekly themes and designed for the public, they provide simple information on communication disorders and treatment. With one click, members can share the information on social media and showcase the professions and their expertise. An added bonus is a weekly drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card (four total) for members who sign up. Sign up to “Speak Up” today. You can customize the resources by communication disorder category and/or by age group under the “My Account” tab.

BHSM product line

Once again, a for-sale product line featuring items big and small is available to take your festivities to the next level. These items feature the 2019 tagline and logo.

Other ASHA resources

May is also a great time to use existing ASHA campaigns and resources, including:

  • Public awareness campaigns: The “Identify the Signs” campaign offers public service announcements and sharable information on early intervention, perfect for May and year-round. Our “Healthy Communication and Popular Technology Initiative” is perennially relevant as the public clamors for ways to manage technology’s place in their own and their families’ lives. Summer is an especially timely opportunity to showcase healthy tech use, as leisure time (and often, tech time) increases for kids—with ASHA members serving as excellent messengers regarding the potential impact on communication.
  • Professionally focused campaigns: The “Value of the CCCs” campaign strives to raise awareness and appreciation of the CCC credentials among allied professionals who hire, supervise, and refer to ASHA members. Check out what the campaign can offer you—May is a great time to take advantage of these resources.
  • Toolkits and challenges: Two popular ASHA initiatives with the group Read Aloud 15 Minutes are perfect to adapt for May: the “Communicating With Baby” toolkit and the “21-Day Read Aloud Challenge.”
Stay tuned!

ASHA will break some important and timely news on May 1. Watch for an announcement!

Please direct questions or comments to bhsm@asha.org.

Francine Pierson is an ASHA public relations manager. fpierson@asha.org.

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