Governor McMaster proclaims May Better Speech and Hearing Month; SCSHA launches COVID-related support resources

Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed the month of May as South Carolina Better Speech and Hearing month. The South Carolina Speech-Language-Hearing Association (SCSHA) celebrates this announcement as each year BSHM provides an opportunity to raise public awareness of communication sciences disorders. 

Given the ongoing serious nature and societal impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 2020 BSHM theme, “Communication at Work,” has been especially tailored to the mitigation and management of communication disorders during this time. Therefore SCSHA, in collaboration with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), has launched a “FREE RESOURCE” page on its website for families of those affected by disorders and struggling to adapt to at-home learning; and business continuity and support resources for member providers now converting face-to-face treatment services to online platforms. 

Communication disorders include infant swallowing disorders, children with language delays, stuttering, dementia and stroke/cancer survivors learning to speak again. Speech language pathologists (SLPs), audiologists and related providers are extensively trained in the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of those affected by such life-changing communication disorders. 

“SCSHA wishes to extend its deepest thanks to Governor Henry McMaster, Director Josh Baker of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and to its leadership for the methodical yet expedited review of existing rules, laws and regulations and the subsequent authorization of temporary telehealth service delivery in the state during these challenging and apprehensive times,” said President Jill C. Williamson, ClinScD, CCC-SLP.

Supporting the critical need for continuity of treatment services during the pandemic, Executive Director Leah G. Johnson, CAE also forecasted that “The need for SLPs is expected to increase exponentially in the next decade,” citing earlier identification and treatment of language and development disorders in young children and a multitude of conditions affecting the aging population.”