Contact: Gabrielle Maxey
May 28, 2014 - With the nationwide launch of the public awareness campaign “Identify
the Signs” by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Memphis
Speech and Hearing Center encourages parents, caregivers, and others to educate themselves
about the early warning signs of speech, language and hearing disorders. The campaign
includes a variety of multimedia resources designed specifically for consumers and
stems from ASHA’s new findings that identify lack of awareness of the early warning
signs as the leading barrier to early detection and treatment.
Results of a recent survey of ASHA’s membership revealed that 45 percent of expert
respondents reported lack of awareness as the number one barrier to early detection
of communication disorders. Research has shown that early detection is critical to
treating, and oftentimes reversing, communication disorders. Delayed treatment can
result in isolation, poor academic or career performance and delayed development.
“As a clinic with several certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists,
we see how delayed intervention impacts the people of Memphis every single day,” said
Dr. Maurice Mendel, dean of the University of Memphis’ School of Communication Sciences
and Disorders and director of the Memphis Speech and Hearing Center. “ASHA’s campaign
has great potential to help the public identify and act on the early warning signs
of communication disorders, allowing people to get the most effective treatment for
the best chance at improved quality of life.”
ASHA’s campaign consists of English and Spanish television, radio and print public
service announcements distributed to outlets across the country. In addition, the
effort includes an online banner ad and features a campaign website highlighting the
early warning signs of speech, language and hearing disorders, as well as consumer
resources for treatment and help.
“Far too many people in Memphis — and across the country — suffer from communication
disorders. This campaign has the ability to reduce that number by helping people to
identify the first signs of these disorders and seek professional help immediately,”
For more information, visit www.IdentifyTheSigns.org.