May is Better Hearing and Speech Month - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Young woman with symptom of hearing loss on color background

VA Palo Alto Health Care System provides assistive devices to patients with hearing loss.

By Andrea Ritz, Writer/Editor Public Affairs
Friday, May 29, 2020

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) designated May as Better Hearing and Speech Month to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of speech pathologists and audiologists in providing life-altering treatment.

This year during the COVID-19 pandemic we want to focus on how individuals with communication disorders manage face masks. Masking can reduce the intensity of what people can hear. It is estimated that 55 percent of all communication is visual but 93 percent of the meaning in verbal communication is determined through non-verbal cues such as facial expression and nuances of the voice. These are hidden when people wear masks and the power of sound reaching people’s ears is also reduced.

Did you know Audiology and Speech Pathology Service can help?

The audiologists and speech pathologists at VA Palo Alto Health Care System provide assistive devices to eligible patients, such as Pocketalkers that amplify what you hear and portable voice amplifiers that boost the sound of what you say. These devices help the hearing impaired, people with stroke-related language problems, or non-native English speakers, and are particularly important while people are wearing face masks during COVID-19.

“We change lives by helping patients regain their communication skills and improving the quality of their life,” said Arlene Kasprisin, Chief of Audiology and Speech Pathology at VA Palo Alto Health Care System. “If we can help a stroke patient who can’t talk at all regain their speaking skills to say, ‘I love you’ to their granddaughter after six months, that’s incredible.”

This year, we chose ‘Communication can crush COVID-19’ as our theme for Better Hearing and Speech Month. Please visit our webpage to find out how we can help you during this difficult time.


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