4 Simple Ways to Celebrate National Speech-Language-Hearing Month

national speech-language-hearing month

As May approaches, it’s time to consider ways to celebrate National Speech-Language-Hearing Month with your fellow SLPs, parents, and colleagues. 

Embracing Change

National Speech-Language-Hearing Month was formally called Better Hearing and Speech Month. The shift to this new name is important for inclusivity and references the multifaceted roles you fulfill as an SLP.

This change also recognizes the ever-changing landscape of the world of speech-language pathology. 

Embrace the change as an opportunity to amplify your voice for better advocacy and bring much-needed awareness to our fantastic profession!

4 Simple Ways to Celebrate National Speech-Language-Hearing Month

  1. Promote the Field
  2. Educate Caregivers
  3. Advocate for Change
  4. Create Awareness Initiatives 

1. Promote the Field

Take this month to invest time in promoting the field of speech-language pathology, both to help decrease the national shortage of SLPs and to increase diversity and inclusion within the field. 

National Shortage of SLPs

Given the national shortage of SLPs, it’s imperative to promote our profession to attract more individuals to the field. 

Factors contributing to this shortage include the increasing demand for our services, earlier identification of childhood speech and language disorders, limited graduate program capacities, and an aging workforce nearing retirement. 

By spending time with younger generations such as high school and college-aged students at career fairs and in their classrooms, you can share the great impact one can have on others by becoming an SLP! 

Lack of Diversity and Inclusion

The lack of diversity and inclusion is another vital reason to spend time promoting the field this month. 

According to data obtained by DATA USA in 2021, 95.2% of SLPs are women and the most common race for SLPs is Caucasian. By intentionally promoting the field to populations who are less represented, such as men and BIPOC individuals, you are helping decrease this discrepancy.  

National speech-language-hearing month

2. Educate Caregivers

Many caregivers may not fully understand the vast scope of your practice as an SLP. Take time to educate them about various communication and hearing disorders you treat and the comprehensive support you can provide. 

Do this by spending a couple of minutes chatting with caregivers at the end of sessions or by sharing simple resources like this FREE “What is an SLP?” handout.

By encouraging understanding, you can increase collaboration and ensure better outcomes for your clients!

*If you’re feeling unsure about how to effectively talk to parents, check out this post with 4 tried and true tips to help you communicate to caregivers with ease! 

3. Advocate for Change

The next simple step you can take to celebrate National Speech-Language-Hearing Month is to advocate for change! 

Although many positive outcomes have been achieved over the last almost 100 years since the start of the field of speech-language pathology, and even notably in the past decade as the digital age has allowed for great changes, there is still room for so much more improvement.

Lobby for issues relevant to where you are located and most impactful to your everyday work such as:

  • Improved accessibility to services
  • Smaller caseload sizes
  • Increased funding 

You can also easily send emails to your representatives through the ASHA Take Action page to promote change for current issues. 

Another great option is to organize some of your SLP friends and colleagues and advocate for change together at your local state capital! Don’t underestimate the power of collective advocacy to drive positive change.

4. Create Awareness Initiatives

Finally, explore low-cost options to bring awareness to National Speech-Language-Hearing Month. 

Consider options like:

  • Create bookmarks about our scope of practice to hand out to colleagues or leave in your local library
  • Hand out water bottles with labels or tags highlighting the importance of vocal hygiene and communication health
  • Share a low-tech AAC board with colleagues to promote increased communication for all clients
  • Make a “cheat sheet” to help teachers, OTs, and PTs know when to make referrals for your services
celebrate national speech-language-hearing month

As an SLP, your work deeply impacts the lives of so many children and families. Celebrate this National Speech-Language-Hearing Month by reaffirming your commitment to excellence, advocacy, and inclusion. Together, we can make a difference to better the field of speech-language pathology!

You may also be interested in reading:

How to Support Caregivers with Research Strain

6 EASY Ways to Make Speech Homework a Habit in the New Year

TOP 3 Tips SLPs Need to Know for Writing Progress Notes   



The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.