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May is National Better Hearing & Speech Month

July 1, 1993

May is National Better Hearing & Speech Month

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In May 2002, Congress passed resolutions to declare May as National Better Hearing & Speech Month to offer their support for the goals and ideals of the month. In the United States, 28 million people have a hearing loss; 14 million have a speech or language disorder (http://www.asha.org.press/BHSM_resolution.cfm)

In addition to supporting the goals and ideals of National Better Hearing & Speech Month, the resolutions also

l commend the 41 states that have implemented routine hearing screenings for every newborn before the infant leaves the hospital;

l support the efforts of speech and hearing professions in their efforts to improve the speech and hearing development of children;

l and encourage the people of the United States to have their hearing checked regularly and to avoid environmental noise that can lead to hearing loss.

RAMP loans TTY devices and training free of charge to people who are certified as deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired.

As one of its many services, RAMP is designated as an Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation (ITAC) Distribution Center for Northern Illinois. People certified as deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired may contact RAMP to receive the device, which will enable them to communicate by telephone more easily.

A TTY is a small typewriter-style device that allows a deaf or hard-of-hearing person as well as a person with a speech impairment to make a telephone call directly without using another person to interpret. Both individuals must use a TTY, and conversations are typed rather than spoken. A person can also use a TTY to call a person with a standard telephone by placing the call through the Illinois Relay Center.

Nearly 10 percent of all children and adults in the U.S. have a speech, language or hearing impairment which affects their ability to communicate. (http://www.ishail.org)

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