For this year’s Better Hearing and Speech Month, BHI and the hearing health community are gearing up to inspire 100,000 people or more to take the online, newly updated, Across America Hearing Check Challenge (www.hearingcheck.org) by the end of May.
The Better Hearing and Speech Council (BHSC) — a coalition of national and local organizations dedicated to promoting high quality hearing health and hearing healthcare for all residents of the United States—is helping in the effort. Recently developed, the BHSC promises to leverage the spirit and power of collaboration so the opportunity for our messages to be heard will increase exponentially. The idea for the BHS Council was borne from a past program that lasted more than two decades (1975 - 1996).
We hope that you and your colleagues will join us in promoting hearing health during this year’s Better Hearing and Speech Month. And we hope that you will rally people in your community to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge.
To raise awareness of the online test, we’ve created an assortment of click-through icons, which can be placed on your home page. These icons link web browsers directly to the Across America Hearing Check Challenge. We also have prepared a toolkit of materials for you to use to promote hearing health and your practice during Better Hearing and Speech Month.
We’ve recently upgraded our online hearing test in both content and graphic design. The user printout integrates results from a validation study conducted by Kochkin & Bentler (2010) on 11,000 people with hearing loss. Of note, the online test proved to be predictive of both objective measures of hearing loss, using audiological equipment, and of subjective measures, using self and family evaluations of hearing loss. The test also correlated with the assessed impact of hearing loss on quality of life.
Our outreach materials also underscore the findings of the new BHI study revealing the financial dangers of leaving hearing loss unaddressed.
It’s time for our message to be heard. More than 34 million people in America already suffer from hearing loss. And it has become ever more evident that hearing loss is not a harmless condition. Hearing loss affects virtually every aspect of an individual’s life and seriously impedes quality of life, even income. Increasingly, research shows a correlation between hearing loss and other chronic medical conditions—including diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s.
We invite you to join BHI and the BHSC in our outreach. Each year, many in the hearing health community recognize Better Hearing and Speech month. But if we join efforts, our voices can be louder and our impact greater.
I’m confident that together, we can inspire 100,000 people to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge (www.hearingcheck.org) during this year’s Better Speech and Hearing Month.
To get started, you can download our 2011 hearing health professional media kit for promoting your practice locally in alignment with the Better Hearing and Speech Council.
Watch for BHI materials on National Women’s Health Week (May 8-14), when we will join efforts once again with the Office of Women’s Health (OWH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to promote National Women’s Health Week.