Dear Editor:

Members of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA) celebrate May as “Better Hearing & Speech Month,” to promote awareness of the audiology and speech language-pathology professions and its impact on the lives of children and adults with hearing, communication and feeding/swallowing issues. 

This year, as we all know, is extremely different. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are rising to extraordinary challenges as essential workers, providing treatment in hospitals, skilled nursing and medical facilities. We are working in close proximity with patients, while taking the steps needed to ensure health and safety.

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Meanwhile, many of us are also facing unprecedented challenges in providing day-to-day services and therapies to our clients/students, as all of our face-to-face work in schools and private settings has moved to a virtual platform.

As members of NJSHA, there are many unprecedented challenges that have become common to us all.  We work with many people, who require continual treatment to maintain skills as well as to progress and obtain new capabilities. Our work is currently disrupted and we are in a unique situation. We are all working to find new ways to make connections and to continue making a difference in the lives of so many New Jerseyans.

As we acknowledge this May as Better Hearing and Speech Month, allow me to recognize and commend all speech-language pathologists and audiologists for their commitment to those we serve as we continue to be New Jersey, always strong.

Kathy Palatucci, MA, CCC-SLP
New Jersey Speech-Language and Hearing Association
Verona, NJ