Speech and Hearing MonthPublished on 1 May 2017 Hansard and Statements by Senator Terry Mercer
Hon. Terry M. Mercer:
Honourable senators, May is Speech and Hearing Month. Each May, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada, SAC, raises public awareness about communication health. SAC represents 6,200 communications health professionals across Canada. I am proud to recognize the work of each speech-language pathologist, audiologist and communications health assistant across Canada.
The ability to communicate is fundamental to our everyday lives. One in six Canadians has a speech, language or hearing problem. In fact, I’m wearing hearing aids to communicate with you and everyone else in my life. Hearing loss is the third-most-prevalent chronic condition, behind arthritis and hypertension.
Honourable senators, this year SAC is encouraging everyone to take the communication awareness social media challenge led by the Pan-Canadian Alliance of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Professional Associations.
Try to imagine yourself with a hearing or speech problem. How would you communicate a message to others if you had difficulty communicating? You could use sign language, written words or pictures, or perhaps use a communication board or an app on your phone. You can take the challenge by using #communicateawareness and include reactions to the difficulties you faced, how it made you feel and how others responded.
Honourable senators, too often we take for granted the ability to communicate with each other, so I encourage you to pay attention to your communications health and spread the word about the important work the professionals do to help us communicate and learn.