Advocate for "Better Communication Month"
May 23, 2017
To the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA):
ASHA serves “as the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 191,500 members and affiliates”. The Association represents professionals from the fields of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology who share the same vision:
“Making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.” - ASHA 2017
For our vision to become reality we must constantly evaluate our advocacy efforts. May is “Better Speech and Hearing Month”. Although speech and hearing largely encompass our practice this is not inclusive of our entire scope.
Respectively, having our professions represented by a month that focuses on “speech” and “hearing” excludes many clients we serve. Clinicians treat several populations whose main goal is working on communication in their preferred mode. This includes but is not limited to: the Deaf community, nonverbal persons, and Augmentative Alternative Communication users.
The American Speech Language Hearing Association already recognizes various topics and populations. This year themes of the week include “Noisy Society,” “Autism,” “Stroke,” and “Bilingual Speech/Language Development”. However, the slogan “Better Hearing and Speech Month” does not fully encompass our vision of effective communication for all.
We propose changing the current slogan “Better Hearing and Speech Month” to “Better Communication Month”. The slogan change will serve to facilitate discussion and increased awareness of the professions, as well as fully represent the diversity of populations we serve.
Thank you for your consideration.
Monica Hudnall, M.A. CCC-SLP & Caitlin Stueve M.A. CF-SLP
Members of California Speech Language Hearing Association