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Speech & Hearing Month

May 2, 2014

May is Speech & Hearing month. To kick things off, we want to highlight the importance of communication as it relates to speech and hearing. Here are 5 things you may not have known about communication:

#1.  The opportunity to communicate is a basic human right.

Communication is crucial to participation in life.  However, it is often overlooked and ignored as a disability.  The International Communication Project serves to raise awareness of of communication disabilities and the impact they have on daily life, and to raise the profile of communication disabilities with international health bodies and policy makers.

Get involved:  Sign the pledge and find out more.

#2.  Communication can take many different forms – not just spoken language.

Visual: gestures, facial expression, eye contact, and body posture convey a wealth of information to the listener.

Alternative & Augmentative Communication: alphabet boards, electronic devices, American Sign Language, or communication books bypass the spoken modality to convey messages.

With the advent of technology, communication is becoming more accessible for individuals with speech, language, or hearing difficulties.

#3. People from birth to death can benefit from the services of an SLP or audiologist.

From infants to the elderly, SLPs can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, clinics, private practise, and even prisons. Check out this previous post for more information: https://ualbertaslp.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/one-profession-many-specialties/

#4. An individual can have difficulties in the areas of speech, language, and/or communication.

Speech is the verbal means of communication, which includes articulation (how sounds are made), voice (how your vocal folds produce sound), and fluency (the rhythm of oneès speech).

Language encompasses the meaning of words, how to make new words, how to put words together, and situationally combining words in different situations.  An individual can have difficulties in expressing themselves using language, or in understanding language.

#5. Universal Newborn Hearing Screenings needs improvement.

Hearing loss can affect 5 in every 1,000 newborns in wealthy countries such as Canada.  Screening the hearing of newborns promotes early detection of hearing loss, which can lead to early intervention and better language outcomes.  Unfortunately, Canada’s screening needs some work – Speech and Audiology Canada along with the Canadian Academy of Audiology recently released a report card on the state of Newborn Screening in Canada.  Read more about it here and raise awareness.

Check back throughout the month for more highlights on Speech & Hearing month!

– APL & BY

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