Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 147: National Better Hearing and Speech Month

May 1–31. A month to promote better hearing and audiology awareness across the nation. More than 36 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss and around 12 million Americans have hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise, noise-induced hearing loss.

For over 75 years May has been designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month -- a time to raise public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication impairments to include those of hearing, speech, language, and voice. Communication impairments affect the most vulnerable in our society -- the young, the aged, the disabled, and the poor.

Helen Keller once noted that of all her impairments, she was perhaps troubled most by her lack of speech and hearing.  She elaborated, that while blindness separated her from things, her lack of speech and hearing separated her from people -- the human connection of communication.

With hearing loss becoming more common in the United States as younger people lose hearing due to noise exposure and the baby boomers age, Better Hearing and Speech Month has become even more important as a means of reaching those reluctant to have their hearing tested. In 2000, HLA launched the first National Day of Hearing Screening (NDHS) in May.

John Tracy Clinic (JTC) was founded by Louise Treadwell Tracy in 1943. Mrs. Tracy compassionately established programs to educate and offer emotional support to parents and their preschool deaf youngsters, free of charge. By encouraging parents to build a foundation of communication with their young children during the critical language development stage from birth through age five, the Clinic has enabled thousands of boys and girls to master the challenges of oral communication. John Tracy Clinic provides, worldwide and without charge, parent-centered services to young children with a hearing loss offering families hope, guidance and encouragement.

The Yucca was chosen as the symbol for John Tracy Clinic because it blooms with great beauty in difficult conditions, as do the parents and students who attend their Clinic. Like sturdy yucca plants, deaf children eventually "blossom." They are able to share all of their talents and gifts with the world through a foundation of communication and listening skills developed during their early years.

Donation $5

To support John Tracy Clinic, please visit:  http://www.jtc.org/

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