Effort Highlights Speech and Language Services Available to Students

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association launched a public-awareness effort, composed of new and repurposed content, to connect parents with services available to their school-aged kids.

As students around the country prepare to go back to school, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association wants parents to know about the speech and language services that are available to their children.

“Speech/language disorders are among the most common disabilities children experience, including school-aged children,” said ASHA Public Relations Manager Francine Pierson. “Some parents may have concerns or questions about their child’s skills, but don’t realize the services available to qualifying children for free in public schools. Nor may some parents know how to navigate the system—which can be quite daunting.”

To educate parents about the speech and language options available, ASHA shared a press release with parenting media and bloggers and then pushed it out through various social media channels.

In addition, the organization is using the start of school as a way to repurpose and promote some existing content. For example, during Better Hearing & Speech Month in May 2017, ASHA released a video on the various services that school-based speech-language pathologists offer.

But, according to Pierson, since May is not always optimal in terms of getting the word out because many schools are focused on wrapping up the year, pushing the video out again now makes sense. “This is a wonderful opportunity to redeploy content that may have not gotten its due attention the first time around, pegged to a new news hook of back to school,” she said.

This effort is part of ASHA’s larger Identify the Signs campaign. “That campaign generally targets younger children, but there are certainly communication disorders that may first become apparent once a child enters school—or maybe were apparent but were never treated ahead of the child entering school,” Pierson said.

And beyond helping parents and children, all the pieces of this effort support ASHA members and the work they do.

“It is intended to highlight the services and promote the expertise of our members, in particular our school-based members,” she said. “It also supports ASHA’s vision, which is to making effective communication—a human right—accessible and achievable for all.”

Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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