- Published on 04 May 2017
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month in America and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has joined forces with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to raise awareness of communication disorders. Their chosen theme for 2017 is “Communication: The Key to Connection.”
15% of the American population − 37.5 million people – report some degree of hearing loss and almost 46 million experience some form of communication disorder that affects physical or emotional health, social, educational, or vocational aspects of their lives.
To raise awareness many organisations, such as the American Academy of Audiology, provide resources for hearing care professionals to highlight the positive outcomes of visiting a hearing healthcare professional to achieve better hearing through the use of hearing technology. Despite hearing technology significantly improving quality of life for millions globally, only one in four American who could benefit from hearing aids has ever used them. As well as possible treatments, press releases and social media tools are putting the spotlight on the research that is being done to improve the lives of those affected.
This more than just an initiative for the month of May; all year round the NIDCD is working to address the public health issue through improving accessible and affordable hearing healthcare through projects looking at new service delivery, screening models and reducing disparities. The organisation is currently supporting 18 active research projects focused on accessible and affordable hearing care. But their main message is for people to seek advice from a health care professional if they think their hearing needs assessing.
The NIDCD has a range of resources for professionals, available in English and Spanish, for professionals here.