What is Better Hearing and Speech Month to YOU?

Posted by: Staff Writer on May 12, 2014

We live in a world of chatterboxes. From giving big work presentations to saying “I love you,” speech and hearing is part of many life experiences. That’s why entire industries, brands, and careers are devoted to helping people hear – or speak – better. Not only that, the entire month of May is devoted to celebrating “Better Hearing and Speech Month” (also known as BHSM).

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan, who had a hearing loss, signed a proclamation that designated this month for spreading awareness about speech, language, and hearing issues.

With hearing loss effecting over 10% of the American population, it comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of us were born deaf, some of us lost our hearing after decades working at a noisy saw mill, or attending one too many heavy metal concerts, or as a side effect of medication. Not all people will seek out hearing aids or cochlear implants. Nor do all of them use speech or sign language. We all find unique ways to deal with hearing loss, which is why it’s so important to be aware of the many options out there.

From the Deaf Culture standpoint, is better hearing and speech awareness something we should celebrate? deafREVIEW thinks so! After all, there is a wide range between mild hearing loss and “stone-cold deaf.” No audiogram is the same – some of us have “ski jump” audiograms, others have “flat-lined” audiograms. We do have one complaint, though: Why is the word “better” in the title? After centuries of dealing with audism, we’d be just as happy to celebrate “Hearing & Speech Month” instead. While some people actively seek improvements via technology like implants and hearing aids, plenty of us cannot be helped with such devices and are perfectly satisfied to do without them (preferring, for example, to focus on the richness of Deaf Culture, use sign language and find alternatives to speech).

Whether you choose to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month each May, or not, what we’re really curious about is your reviews! Is there a particular audiologist or speech therapist that you consider deaf-friendly? If you live in Seattle, a great organization to visit for hearing and speech-related services is the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC). deafREVIEW would like to know which audiologists and speech-language pathologists you find most deaf-friendly. Have you met any who are deaf-friendly, fluent in ASL or are deaf themselves? Write a review and let us know!

 

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We’re aware that issues facing the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Community can become quite passionate and divided. What can we say, we’re a group of passionate people! While we fully support a community full of passion, we also require that comments are respectful. We think negative attitudes and disrespect are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with people, you just need to do it respectfully. We reserve the right to delete or edit any comments we feel are judgmental, rude, or of attacking nature.

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