May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Every May, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) runs its Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) campaign to raise awareness about communication disorders.

  • Back in 1927 the month of May was designated Better Hearing and Speech Month. And, on May 21, 1986, President Ronald Reagan issued a formal proclamation designating May as the official month to “heighten public awareness” about hearing loss and speech disorders.
  • Ronald Reagan is one among many famous people with hearing loss. Another is Helen Keller. Helen Keller once noted that of all her impairments, she was perhaps troubled most by her lack of speech and hearing. She said that while blindness separated her from things, her lack of speech and hearing separated her from people.
  • The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that approximately 43 million people in the United States suffer from a speech, voice, language, or hearing impairment.
  • An estimated 28 million Americans have a hearing loss that can be treated; yet fewer than 7 million use a hearing aid.
  • People with hearing loss wait an average of seven years before seeking help. (Center for Hearing and Communication)
  • Noise is the leading cause of hearing loss.
  • 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels every day. (American-Speech-Language -Hearing Association)
  • Most hearing loss and other communication disorders are treatable. Early detection and intervention contributes to shorter treatment periods, reduced costs, and a better quality of life.

During May, ASHA and the hearing care industry as a whole encourages Americans to get a hearing test and start on the road to hearing better.