May is finally here, and that makes all of us here at WebPT super stoked. Why? Well, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and of course, it’s Better Hearing and Speech Month!

The tradition of Better Hearing and Speech Month began more than 75 years ago as a way to shed light on the many forms of communication disorders and impairments affecting human hearing, speech, language, and voice. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that approximately 43 million people in the United States live with some kind of speech, voice, language, or hearing impairment.

Here are a few more figures to consider:

  • About two to three out of every 1,000 children in the US are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. Nine out of every ten children who are born deaf have parents with normal hearing function.
  • More than three million Americans stutter, with the highest incidence occurring among boys ages two through six.
  • An estimated one million people in the US have aphasia, a language disorder resulting from post-stroke brain damage.
  • Approximately 36 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss, yet only one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one.

Communication impairments can hinder a person’s ability to succeed academically, professionally, and socially. The good news is that even though many of these conditions are incurable, most respond well to therapy treatment.

On that note, we’d like to take this opportunity to shine the spotlight on all of the fabulous audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and other communication specialists out there who dedicate their life’s work to improving the lives of those affected by hearing and speech disorders. In a world seemingly ruled by emails, text messages, Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds, it’s easy to devalue the importance of face-to-face communication. But so much of the human experience is tied to our interactions with others, and these amazing professionals do everything they can to make sure no one misses out on the simple joy of connecting with another person.

So, consider this a collective tip o’ the hat from everyone at WebPT. Thanks for all you do!

For additional Better Hearing and Speech Month materials—including a special screensaver, activities for kids, and this year’s BHSM poster—visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s website. Also be sure to check out the BHSM page on Pintrest.

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