The month of May always make us think of flowers blooming, birds chirping, warmer weather, and the end of the school year! May, for us SLPs, is Better Speech and Hearing Month!
It can be such a fun time to draw awareness to our field and tell everyone more about what we do on a daily basis! Most people who I meet for the first time and they ask me, “What do you do?” They have never even heard of an SLP before unless they have had a child or a family member who has needed our services.
A few facts:
- The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that approximately 43,000,000 people in the United States suffer from a speech, voice, language, or hearing impairment.
- Almost 28,000,000 suffer from a hearing loss.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects approximately 28,800 new openings in the speech pathology field before 2020 to accommodate the aging population.
Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boomer population grows older, there will be more instances of health conditions that can cause speech or language impairments, such as strokes or dementia. The BLS also reported in 2016 that roughly 2 out of 5 SLPs work for the school settings. We all know the shortage we have for SLPs in the school system! This is a great time to share with your high school and middle school students what we do as a possible career path! Overall, it is looking like a great time to be a Speech Language Pathologist and it’s our time to shine! I highly recommend checking out ASHA’s website for more great information regarding Better Speech and Hearing Month and the numerous items (both free and to purchase) you can use to promote this event in May!
Author: Natasha Peacock, MCD CCC-SLP