Hearing loss is a wide ranging concern that affects everyone from newborns to senior citizens. Communication disorders are health issues sometimes dependent on early intervention. Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) raises awareness of both.

BHSM addresses everything from autism and strokes to bilingual speech and language development. It’s a month that helps spread the word about the relationship and specifics of hearing loss and speech problems, as well as how to best combat their negative effects.

Why is Better Hearing and Speech Month important?

According to Johns Hopkins medicine, about “two to three of every 1,000 newborns in the U.S.” will have some level of hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports “approximately 15% of American adults…aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing” and “nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74” have some form of rehabilitating hearing loss.

With hearing loss, communication disorders are more likely to occur, especially in children. That’s why early intervention is so important (why any intervention is, really), and why helping get the word out about BHSM is crucial.

What can you do?

1. Social media is the quickest – and often most effective – way to let everyone know about BHSM.

2. If you have kids, let their school or the school’s counselor know.

3. Reach out to your local legislators.

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association has a helpful rundown as well as a document pageoffering press releases, web banners, and printouts.