By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences
Each May, Sertomans join the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in marking Better Hearing & Speech Month. This annual event has been used to raise awareness about communicative disorders since its creation in 1927 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
To help our members prepare for this important event, we wanted to share how some of our clubs have observed and participated in Better Hearing & Speech Month:
Participate in Sertoma’s National Service Project (NSP). This ongoing annual event encourages clubs to purchase portable InfoLoops and donate them to local public and private entities including hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, libraries, government buildings and more. More than 60 clubs have participated in the NSP since the program began in 2021. Learn more here.
Ask your local, county and/or state legislatures to declare May as Better Hearing & Speech Month. This is typically done by the club contacting a local elected official and asking them to make a proclamation. Contact HQ if you need help with a sample proclamation. We can also connect you with other Sertomans who have been successful in this process.
Support the Hearing Aid Project. Consider recommending an audiologist to the program, promoting HAP in your community, collecting hearing aid donations, or hosting a fundraiser. You can also visit with Sertoma staff to see what other options might be a fit for your club.
Submit a press release, advertorial or story idea to your local press. You can find a list of customizable articles in our template library or come up with an entirely new idea all on your own.
Hold a SAFEEars!® event or incorporate educational materials into another event you are holding in May. This program strives to motivate individuals of all ages to take action against noise-induced hearing loss by understanding the cause and solutions. Learn more here.
Partner with a local hearing health agency, partner organization, audiologist, university/school, or Sertoma Affiliate to host a hearing health event. Ideas might include a hearing aid collection drive, visits to local elementary schools to talk about hearing protection, a free community screening day, a fundraiser for a local hearing charitable organization or anything else that supports or promotes hearing health in your area.
Whatever route you choose to observe Better Hearing & Speech Month, make sure to share photos of your event on your club’s social media and with local press to further your impact. Also ask members, partners, beneficiaries, and anyone else involved to share your post or photos of their own to further spread the Sertoma word.