In Phoenix, the weather is warm, pool parties are already in full effect, and it’s been shorts season since—well—last summer. But whether it’s sunny where you are—or not—the month of May is about more than changing seasons. This month is a celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM).

Each year, the Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) chooses a theme to promote awareness surrounding hearing and speech problems. This year’s theme is “Early Intervention Counts.” Early intervention is a timely topic, as recent World Health Organization research reveals: “Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound.” With the rise of this risk, audiologists’ and speech-language pathologists’ roles are more important than ever—especially when it comes to early detection and intervention.

Looking for ways to get involved and spread BHSM awareness? The ASHA has planned some fun activities throughout the month. Here are some of our favorites:

Inspire

Are you an ASHA member with an inspiring story to tell? Explain your story in one to three paragraphs. Then, email it to pr@asha.org for a chance to have it featured online and honored at ASHA’s national convention.

Tweet

Wanna talk? At 12:00 PM EDT on May 19, blogger and author Amy Lupold Bair (@ResourcefulMom) will host a BHSM Twitter chat, during which parents and ASHA experts will discuss how technology affects our children and what role communication plays in the tech age. Watch the #BHSMchat hashtag for more info.  

Invite

Host a speech-focused health fair to give your community a peek inside your practice. There, you can offer communication disorder screenings and guided tours to raise awareness about your profession and the value of early intervention.

Wear

We had so much fun with our OT month t-shirt giveaway that we decided to host a similar event in honor of BHSM. You love helping your patients communicate, so why not do it while rocking a sweet t-shirt that celebrates your specialty?

To enter, let us know what you love most about being an SLP or audiologist in the comments section below. We’ll draw one random winner on May 16, 2015. Winners will receive the spiffy shirt shown below. 

SLP Month

And don’t worry; we aren’t in to the “one-size-fits-all” look. We’ll contact the winner to get sizing information—and a shipping address—so he or she can celebrate BHSM in style. Be sure to comment before the contest ends at 12:00 AM PDT on May 15.

Finally, to all of you audiologists and speech language professionals: thank you. With your help, the people in our society can better communicate and lead more fulfilling lives.

Happy Better Hearing and Speech Month!