Hearing Health Category

What’s Next for Sertoma?

At the August Board Meeting, the Sertoma Board conducts a longer term strategic planning session. This was our first session with our new Executive Director, Aaron Ensminger, and we’re excited to tell you about what’s coming for Sertoma and Hearing Charities of America. 

At this meeting, we identified three long-range strategic goals and also some initiatives in support of those goals. We’ll be adding to the initiatives over the course of the year, but we’ve got a few to share with you now.

Strategic Goal 1: Developing a Value Proposition for Membership and working on communication and programs to put in place to enhance membership.

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Strategy and Changes

Well, here we are again! It’s getting ready to be a significant time for Sertoma, so I’m checking in with everyone before my week starts to get crazy!

Last week was consumed with one thing–preparing for my first board meeting with Sertoma! We’ve had some calls, and I was around for the April board meeting, but this is the big one. We’ve got the usual reports and some normal decisions to make, but we’ll be taking a significant amount of time to do some Strategic Planning.

This is one of my favorite activities, so I’m really looking forward to it.

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Annual Fund Changes

We are excited about the changes the Board has made to the 2019-2020 Annual Fund recognition levels!  With the exception of the Fellow Level change last year, there have been no changes since the 1960s.  This means that the 100% club gift of $25 per member given in the 1960s is now equivalent to $200 today.

One of the biggest changes you may notice is that a new recognition level of $250 called the Patron level has been added. This level is now available to both clubs and individuals. For individuals, the gift giving level ranges between $250 and $499,

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Introductions and Exciting Times!

Good evening! (At least, it’s evening as I write this!) After a little over a month getting to know the staff, the members who were at convention, and learning as much as I can about Sertoma and Hearing Charities of America, I’d like to take a minute to officially say hello and tell you something about myself!

First, professionally: I’m coming to you most recently from the National Auctioneers Association, where I served as Director of Education for six years. It was a fantastic experience with a great organization! NAA is a membership based professional organization that provides education,

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2019 Convention Recap

Convention had no shortage of energy, passion or enthusiasm this year! The future of the organization is brighter than ever as we continue working on the implementation of Vision 2020.

Thank you to everyone who traveled and participated this year. We hope to see your smiling faces again soon. For a quick recap of important news and announcements, please see below.

Award Winners

(* indicates national winner)

Sertoman of the Year
Doug Suereth – Allegheny Canada
*Donald Bartelmay – Atlantic Coast
Sara Krumme – Great Lakes
Douglas English – Great Plains
Stephanie Bunten – Heart of America
Patricia ‘Pat’ White – Mountain West
Bill Clark – Southeastern/Caribbean

Service to Mankind
Mickey Minnich – Allegheny Canada
Jean Tulli – Atlantic Coast
Marci Harbage – Great Lakes
Craig McMillan – Great Plains
Jerry Hudgins – Heart of America
Sister Libby Fernandez – Mountain West
*Wade Thomas – Southeastern/Caribbean

New Leadership Introductions

National Board
President: John Kelly,

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2017-18 Sertoma Community Grant Recipient

Anchor Center for Blind and Deaf Children – Hearing, Seeing and Believing.

Our senses give us the power to connect and experience the world in different ways. The same concept applies to technology. Thanks to your generous donations, deaf-blind children are now able to receive the special gift of communicating with their peers, learning in the classroom and experiencing sound in a brand new way.

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2017-18 Communicative Disorders Scholarship

Ashley’s grandfather suffered from three strokes, which drastically affected his ability to communicate with loved ones. At the rehabilitation center, Ashley observed speech-language pathologists working tirelessly to improve the muscles that affected his speech and swallowing.

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Please Help Us Find Judges!

Sertoma and Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) strives to improve the quality of life for those impacted by hearing loss.  Sertoma’s Adopt-an-Agency program is one way it does so, because it is a network of hearing health organizations that share the same mission and goals.

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Spread the Gift of Sound!

What do you see when you look out your window or step through your door? Is it so familiar that beauty and adventure no longer catch your attention? Is opportunity waiting, yet going unrecognized?

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Find a Club and Take a Selfie!

Whether the goal is growing membership, raising funds for service-related endeavors, marketing an event, or finding new connections within your local community, it has become clear in recent years that a solid web presence is vital. This is true for Sertoma at the national level, the club level, and even at the member level.

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The Future of Sertoma

Do you need help recruiting new members or volunteers? Do you have a request from the IRS or a donor? Do you want training? Do you have a problem with a member? Most clubs face these common questions.

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Supporting Our Students and Communities

The Annual Fund supports Sertoma’s hearing health mission and heritage.  Each year, Sertoma Clubs and individual members raise funds from coast to coast to continue our mission of improving the quality of life today for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss through education and support.

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Club Development Workshop Dates

This spring, the Club Development Workshops (CDWs) will be coming to a city near your club. These unique one-day training sessions will provide your clubs with the tools and knowledge you need to reach and exceed your goals. All leaders and members are encouraged to attend.

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2016-2017 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scholarship

When Miranda Scott was 18 months old, her parents found out she was deaf. Although she cannot hear in her right ear, with a hearing aid, she can hear around 50% of sound in her left.

For now, Miranda focuses on enjoying the sounds she can hear, as audiologists believe she will eventually become deaf in both ears.

Miranda is currently attending the University of North Florida, and with the help of Sertoma’s scholarship is obtaining a degree in Psychology. She is expected to graduate in May of 2021 and intends to use her education and skills for the greater good.

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Helping Our Heroes Hear

If you could give an invaluable gift to someone who puts their life on the line for you every day, what would it be?

The Audiology Department at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMED) took some time to research the needs of local law enforcement officers in their community. The department soon realized that the special gift they could provide was enhanced communication through customized radio ear molds.

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How to Grow New Relationships

One of the best ways to create new relationships and spark change is by introducing Sertoma’s programs to the individuals in your community. By sharing what we do, you can better connect with others and engage them in our mission to make a difference.

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Book Your Hotel Room Early for Convention

Sertoma’s National Convention will be held at the Kauffman Foundation February 1-3, 2018. The host hotel will be the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza located on East 45th Street in Kansas City, Missouri 64111. Are you ready to book your room early at a discounted rate of $99?

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Hear Us Out – Here’s Why You Need CELEBRATE SOUND!

Want to be a part of an amazing national fund and awareness-raising event that helps promote hearing health in our communities? Join Sertoma in giving the gift of sound. Host a CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence® event today!

CELEBRATE SOUND is a turnkey fundraising project that allows your community to come together to raise funds and awareness for your organization and Sertoma. With more than 50 million people living with hearing loss, it is critical to educate our communities on issues like noise-induced hearing loss.

When you partner with Sertoma,

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Make Some Noise for Hearing Health!

Did you know that individuals with healthy hearing are less likely to develop or experience heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and social isolation? Hearing plays a significant role in affecting a person’s mood, overall well-being and everyday life. It is arguably one of the body’s most important senses!

Approximately 52 million Americans have hearing loss, and this staggering number is increasing quickly. In the world, it is estimated that around 360 million men, women and children are affected, and unfortunately, hearing loss is permanent.

What will you do during May Better Hearing and Speech Month to help bring attention to the important issue of hearing health?

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Sertoma Scholarships Available

Each year, Sertoma provides 100 scholarships through our Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative Disorders scholarships. These scholarships aid students who are continuing their education, and because of the financial support of donors like you, we are able to continue our vision of creating communities of change.

The Communicative Disorders scholarship is open to all full-time audiology or speech-language pathology graduate students in the United States. March 31 is the deadline for all Communicative Disorders scholarship applications, and each scholarship is worth $1,000. Applicants may reapply each year as long as they meet the scholarship requirements. Click here to learn more about the Communicative Disorders scholarship.

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2015-16 Sertoma Grant Recipient Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH)

Can you imagine being a parent and having the opportunity to experience your child’s hearing loss through simulation technology? Or having access to the best hearing health professionals, top-of-the-line equipment and counseling services?

For over 50 years the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH) and Sertoma have been working together to create a healthier hearing world and future for those with hearing loss.

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2015-16 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scholarship Recipient

Her dream was to become an actress; to thrive and glow in the bright dazzling city of New York. But after experiencing difficulties with her hearing loss in the industry,  she decided to pursue a new dream with a little help from Sertoma.

Douglas was born with normal hearing, but began to lose hers in her early 20’s. She was diagnosed with otosclerosis induced hearing loss, and despite two left ear surgeries and hearing aids, communication was still difficult… especially on stage.

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The Incredible Impact of the Annual Fund

Have you ever wondered what the Annual Fund money does? It allows our National Affiliates to make a positive impact on daily basis. Without your support to the Annual Fund, this would not be possible.

Over the past decade, our Adopt-An-Agency National Affiliates have received hundreds of dollars to continue and improve hearing health in their community.

Did you know that Sertoma Headquarters gave out over $100,000 in Community Grants to 20 National Affiliates last year? Sertoma has given out over one million dollars in Community Grants over the last decade, and it is through your donation to the Annual Fund that you continue the mission of Sertoma throughout communities across the country.

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Become an Advocate for Hearing Health

A Sound Investment promotes looping in public forums to provide clear, understandable sounds for those with hearing assistive devices. Advocating for public looping means more opportunities for individuals who suffer from hearing loss to enjoy normal social outings that many take for granted. By being an advocate for looping, you are breaking the barriers that many Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals face on a daily basis.

How can you be an advocate for looping? Speak with local organizations in your area that may have an interest in looping. Need funding? Hold a fundraiser to help with the costs to implement a looping system.

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Benefits of the Adopt-an-Agency Program

The Adopt-An-Agency program establishes a relationship between Sertoma and a nonprofit hearing and speech facility. It is a practical way for a club to help a local organization and promote Sertoma’s national mission

Sertoma’s partnership with these agencies, known as National Affiliates, expands awareness in the community to the pervasiveness of communicative disorders and the resulting impact on the lives of individuals and their families.

Sertoma Affiliates must be a 501(C)3 or tax status equivalent, including schools or school districts or departments, colleges or universities that provide direct services, education or research related to helping those with communicative disorders.

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Hearing Health Seminar Inspires in Surprising Ways

Do you remember the last time you felt inspired to make a change in your life? At times, inspiration can be purely unpredictable. It can stem from a story, person or even an event. For 73-year-old Sertoma member, Buzz Lewis, it just happened to be all three.

It all started with a hearing health seminar that took place September 26, 2016. Each month, the Lexington Medical Center, in Lexington, South Carolina, provides free educational health seminars for the community. In September, the Lexington Sertoma Club teamed up with the hospital to feature hearing health as its spotlight topic of the month.

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Have You Heard About #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is widely known as the global day of “giving” and is an online movement designed to encourage unity and generosity.

It is a day that is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and will take place this year on November 29, 2016. Mark your calendars now!

#GivingTuesday helps kick off the charitable season through the use of social media outlets, and is a national movement that recognizes the importance of helping others.

This year, you can help #LendAHearingHand by donating to Sertoma’s Annual Fund, which will help support our hearing health mission by providing national grants and scholarships.

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Building Awareness One Gift at a Time

The Annual Fund creates opportunities for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Communicative Disorders students by providing financial assistance through scholarships. The Annual Fund also provides affiliates of the Adopt-An-Agency program with the opportunity to attend professional conferences through Sertoma’s Professional Education Grant.

Your contribution to the Annual Fund allows our scholarship recipients and affiliates to continue their education and the work necessary to enhance communities nationwide.

If your club plans on being a 100% Early Bird Club, the cost is $25 per person, and this payment must be received by December 1st to qualify. Please submit your current club roster with the donation.

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Norfolk Sertoma’s Largest Donation Advances Hearing Research

Can you imagine a world where sound could be heard by all who wanted to hear? Anyone who desired to experience the melodic sounds of music and nature could have the chance without complica

Fortunately, due to medical research and breakthroughs in the industry, combined with the support and generosity of passionate individuals, this scenario is not entirely far from becoming a reality.

In June of 2015, the Norfolk Sertoma Club made its largest gift to date, which funded a temporal bone research lab at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS).

The $150,000 donation helped fund the lab’s eight training stations,

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Sertoma’s Pizzeria Lunch Helps Students Practice Speech

Communication is an art that cannot always be taught. For some students, it is a fundamental tool that takes time, persistence and patience to develop. For students attending the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, Texas, a unique event was held to provide students with an opportunity to learn and implement various types of communication in a creative setting.

To help the students, the Northwest Sertoma Club, of Austin, Texas, has been volunteering and hosting an annual Pizzeria Luncheon.

This unique event is designed to provide students with the opportunity to speak with Sertoma members in an informal,

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Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth Quinley, a three-time award winner of Sertoma’s Hard of Hearing or Deaf scholarship, spoke about her personal hearing health journey at Sertoma’s National Convention in April 2016. The scholarships Quinley received through Sertoma allowed her to pursue her dream of audiology, and inspired her to join the organization to continue giving back. Watch her story!

If you’d like to make a contribution to Sertoma’s Annual Fund and assist in helping students just like Elizabeth, please donate now!

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Sertoma Empowers Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth Baseball Players

Every child growing up has unique dreams and aspirations. For some children, these dreams can range anywhere from becoming a fearless fireman, to an ambitious astronaut or a legendary hall of fame baseball player.

For Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in Denver, Colorado, the LoDo Field of Dreams Sertoma Club hosted a special camp to help train and encourage the dreams of children within its community.

This year, the LoDo Field of Dreams Sertoma Club held its 20th annual Denver Field of Dreams baseball camp July 9-10 at the Regency Athletic Complex Baseball Field in Denver,

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Carson Valley Sertoma Scholarships Support Aspiring Students

Slowly transitioning into a new chapter of life is an outcome that looks different for everyone. For those graduating from high school, figuring out “what’s next” can be a process that requires time, effort and assistance.

Bob Centanni, a member of Sertoma for 20 years, created and began managing the Book Scholarship program in 1994. This scholarship program is one of the many ways that the Carson Valley Sertoma Club, of Carson Valley, Nevada, has positively and collectively impacted the youth in its community.

The scholarships are designed to help local high school graduates pursue their dream of attending a four year university by reducing the costs of books,

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Sertoma Club @ the Villages Hosts Annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth Baseball Camp

The game of baseball is a classic and historical part of American history. For many children growing up, the hot summer days at the ball park become lifelong lessons and memories.

Unfortunately, for Deaf or Hard of Hearing children there are not always an unlimited amount of opportunities to learn or play baseball in a group setting.

However, thanks to groups such as the Sertoma Club @ the Villages, no child will ever feel left out at the ball field. Each year, The Sertoma Club @ the Villages hosts its annual Sertoma Fantasy Baseball Camp, for Deaf and Hard of Hearing boys and girls.

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Brainerd Sertoma Club Supports Student Trip to Gallaudet

What would you do if you were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore a new city, culture and way of life? For the American Sign Language Clubs of Central Lakes College and Brainerd High School of Brainerd, Minnesota, this question was turned into a reality.

In March 2016, 40 enthusiastic and adventurous students journeyed to the infamous Gallaudet University, in Washington D.C. This trip was supported and partially funded by the Brainerd Sertoma Club, and was designed to help students practice and expand their American Sign Language (ASL) skills.

Gallaudet University is the only Deaf liberal arts university in the world,

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Sertoma Grant Opens New Doors at Aspen Deaf Camp

Ah, the sweet essence and experience of summer camp. It is place where freedom and adventure intertwine, new relationships grow and comfort zones dissolve.

For those attending Aspen Camp in Snowmass, Colorado, it is a special opportunity for both Deaf* children and Deaf* adults to explore new realms, relationships and the outdoors.

Aspen Camp originated in 1967, and is currently the only Deaf* camp in the United States that provides year round programs to Deaf* youths, adults, families and hearing allies.

Aspen Camp focuses on the acceptance of Deafhood, and the ways in which people can embrace their individuality in a unified environment.

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How to Support the National Hearing Aid Project

The mission of the National Hearing Aid Project is to provide access to hearing aids and related hearing health services to those that otherwise could not afford them. By becoming a collection center, establishing collection centers in your community, or doing an online fundraiser, your club can help us fulfill this mission.

Become a Collection Center:
Collected hearings aids of any age or condition will go directly to our Hearing Aid Bank where they will be put into an inventory for use by audiologists who have agreed to provide clinical services to recipients of the project. Sertoma headquarters can supply your clubs with brochures that give information about how to donate aids to us,

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Custom Hearing Aid Donation Changes Child’s Life

For months, five-year-old Sophia was beginning to distance herself socially in school. She became shy, timid and was having difficulty communicating. It wasn’t until she took a test, that her family and teachers soon realized there was more to the story.

The Sioux City Noon Sertoma Club first learned about Sophia and her story from a local audiologist named Mike Sloniker.  Sloniker has been an audiologist for 25 years, and owns Siouxland Hearing Healthcare, a private practice in Sioux City, Iowa. Throughout the years, he has formed a close professional relationship with the Sioux City Noon Sertoma Club,

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Unconventional Golf Tournament Benefits Hearing Health

Baby blue skies and unlimited Texas sunshine created the perfect day this year for Sertoma’s charitable golf tournament. The uniquely designed 27th Annual Port Arthur Noon Sertoma Club golf tournament was held April 10 at the beautiful Bayou Din Golf Club in Beaumont, Texas.

In total, the event raised around $9,000, and ended up being a huge success according to Tim Romero, a member of Sertoma, and the golf tournament chairman.

“Everybody felt great,” Romero said. “We generated a lot of good will for the name Sertoma, as well as our club. We made sure all of the participants knew that their donations would be going back into the community.”

The tournament consisted of 18 teams comprised of four men each.

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Sertoma Scholar Joins Organization to Give Back

Elizabeth Quinley, a 21-year-old, bright eyed scholar from Visalia, California, moved to Springfield, Missouri, to pursue her dream of helping others, and to achieve a higher education.

One of the biggest reasons Quinley moved to Springfield was because she had been selected to receive several scholarships, including three very special scholarships from Sertoma.

When Quinley was three-years-old, she was diagnosed with bilateral moderate mix hearing loss, and attended speech therapy shortly after.  At the age of four, she was provided with her first set of hearing aids, which allowed her to communicate and hear for the first time.

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Sertoma’s Donation Improves Communication in South Carolina Community

Social events, both small and large, help create a sense of belonging and unity within communities. We may not always realize it, but at times, individuals with hearing loss can feel isolated, or left out during social events simply because of communication limitations.

Approximately 20% of Americans have hearing loss, and even those with hearing aids are not always able to understand or hear speech effectively in large group settings.

In order to compensate, and break down these communication barriers, specific types of technology called “hearing looping systems” are now being implemented into public vicinities to accommodate those that have hearing loss.

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Welcome to Our New Affiliates!

OMC Regional Foundation & OPHIR School-Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program are the two newest Affiliates. Affiliates are eligible to apply for Community Grants and Professional Education Grants. To find out more information about the Adopt-An-Agency program click here: http://sertoma.org/what-we-do/adopt-an-agency/

OMC Regional Foundation whose mission is to “advocate for and support Olmsted Medical Center and to assist it in funding quality healthcare services and education in the communities it serves”.  The Olmstead Medical Center Audiology Department evaluates, diagnoses, and treats hearing and balance disorders, for all ages.  No patient is ever ‘too young’ or ‘too old’.

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Hearing Aid Collection Centers

We’d like to express our appreciation to the individuals that have donated recycled hearing aids, and the clubs that have set up collection centers for the Hearing Aid Project.  These gifts directly help those in need of a hearing aid, or provide the necessary parts to fix an aid that someone relies on every day.  Thank you for helping us share the joy of hearing!

To learn how easy it is to donate a hearing aid, please visit: http://www.hearingaiddonations.org/

Thank you to the following Sertoma Clubs that have helped us establish collection centers across the country:

Marion County Sertoma Club

Honolulu Sertoma Club

Kansas City Sertoma Club

The Sertoma Club of Bradenton,

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Promote Better Hearing & Speech Month

When is Better Hearing & Speech Month? What should we do as a club? Why do anything? I decided to Google “better hearing & speech month” and Google told me that there were 15,900,000 results. All I could think was WOW! I went on Pinterest and there were a lot of ideas for Better Hearing & Speech Month. The word is out but not as much as it should be.

Each May Better Hearing & Speech Month gives us an opportunity to raise awareness about hearing health. Michigan State University indicates that for over 75 years May has been the month designated as Better Hearing &

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