Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month

May 1 is often referred to as May Day. This is not to be confused with a mayday distress call or the fictional Sam “Mayday” Malone character from the TV sitcom Cheers.

May 1 is also the beginning of Better Speech and Hearing Month, according to an audiologist who wrote a letter in April to the newspaper columnist

Hints from Heloise.

While she doesn’t cite her source, this audiologist gives a figure that, if true, we should all pay attention to: about 30 million Americans have hearing loss.

Additionally, while she shares with Heloise these five low-tech tips for those who use hearing aids, they give some good guidance for all. Everybody can learn to be more aware when dealing with people who use hearing aids.

1. Listening in noisy environments is difficult. Move closer, and turn off the TV or radio before talking. (Hearing in noisy environments is the No. 1 complaint of those with hearing loss/hearing aids.)

2. Get attention. Make sure your face is visible, and avoid talking from another room.

3. Practice clear speech. Speak in a natural way, pronouncing each syllable. This automatically slows your speech and gives the listener more time to process your information.

4. Avoid cross talk when in a group. In restaurants, request that background music be turned down or off.

5. Teach children to use their "big girl/boy" voices. Lower-pitched voices are easier to hear.

Disability service professionals work with people who have a variety of disabilities including hearing loss. We should set the example and be aware of these things that make for better communication. Share these with your faculty and students.

Got any more to add to this list?

1 comment:

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