Volume 32| May 2022
Ask a SLP about all of the ways to communicate
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, a time to raise awareness about communication disorders and available treatment options that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems speaking or hearing.

Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) was founded in 1927 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Each May, this annual event provides an opportunity to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems, and to encourage people to think about their own hearing and get their hearing checked.

SLPs and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
An AAC specialist is a speech language pathologist who has additional training and experience with AAC. 

AAC is a clinical practice area within speech-language pathology that makes use of a number of different kinds of non-verbal communication systems – everything from software and devices to sign language – as a way to assist individuals with particularly severe speech/language production or comprehension impairments.

People that commonly require AAC include those with:
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Developmental apraxia of speech
  • Cerebrovascular injury caused by stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Neurodegenerative diseases

When these conditions affect speech so dramatically that traditional SLP therapies are unable to restore a person’s ability to speak, AAC is a possible solution.

With it being Better Speech and Hearing Month take this opportunity to learn something new or refresh yourself on a topic you haven’t visited in a while.

Did you know Tobii Dynavox has a learning hub full of free resources? Some examples of things you can find there: General information and trainings on Eye Gaze, Literacy, Core Vocabulary, Funding and more. They also offer program specific trainings on programs like Boardmaker and TD Snap. In addition, some of these online trainings are eligible for ASHA CEU’s. If you haven’t had a chance to explore these great resources take a peek today. https://learn.tobiidynavox.com/

Many other AAC vendors also have free resources and/or training portals:

Protect Your Hearing
According to the World Health Organization’s first World Report on Hearing
  • Noise is now being acknowledged as an important public health issue and a top environmental risk faced by the world today.
  • Over 50% of people aged 12–35 years listen to music via personal audio devices at volumes that pose a risk to their hearing.
  • A rule of the thumb for staying safe is to keep the volume below 60%.
  • If you frequently use personal audio devices around loud sounds: instead of turning the volume up, consider using noise cancelling earphones or headphones.
  • Listening through personal audio devices should not exceed 80 dB (adults) or 75 dB (sensitive users: e.g., children) for 40 hours a week.
  • Listeners who regularly use portable audio devices can expose themselves to the same level of sound in 15 minutes of music at 100 dB that an industrial worker would receive in an 8-hour day at 85 dB.

 If you are experiencing a hearing-related issue, contact RI's Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan Program (ATEL).
The (ATEL) Program provides landline/home telephones and wireless devices on loan to qualified individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, have a speech disability, or have neuromuscular damage or disease that hinders them from using a standard telephone.  


For more ideas and resources, check out this Pinterest page dedicated to Better Hearing and Speech month!

Like the header image? Head over to teachers Pay Teachers and check out the Drawn to AAC page!

Love podcasts? Here's a list of 10 SLP Podcasts!

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