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Faculty, staff and students urged to get hearing tested

May 15, 2006

KALAMAZOO--In observance of May being Better Hearing and Speech Month, faculty members of Western Michigan University's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology are encouraging faculty, staff and students to be tested for hearing loss and speech disorders.

Now covered under the WMU health care policy, faculty and staff can schedule hearing and speech assessments at the WMU Unified Clinics' Charles Van Riper Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, located on the corner of Oakland Drive and Oliver Street in the University Medical and Health Sciences Center. Appointments may be scheduled by calling (269) 387-8047.

People are urged to schedule a hearing assessment if they experience one or more of the following: frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves; feel as if other people are mumbling; have increased difficulty understanding conversations when background noise is present; have difficulty in group conversations; keep the volume on their radio or television at a level that others say is too loud; have ringing in their ears; or if they already have a hearing aid, but they do not use it. Audiologists would also like to remind the University community to keep the volume of their iPods and other devices at a safe level.

Since 1927, the ASHA--American Speech-Language Hearing Association--has been observing Better Hearing and Speech Month in May. An estimated 28 million Americans have hearing loss and 14 million have speech or language disorders, most of which can be treated.

"Speech and language disorders take many forms and can limit academic achievement, social

adjustment and career advancement," says Sandra Glista, a speech-language pathologist and WMU faculty member. "Most people with speech and language problems can be helped."

Hearing loss can cause many problems, says Teresa Crumpton, an audiologist and speech pathology and audiology faculty member.

"Hearing loss can affect all aspects of people's lives," Crumpton says. "It can impact both their relationships and their overall health. By becoming aware and seeking treatment, you can have a positive impact on these areas."

For more information on the services available at the Charles Van Riper Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, call Teresa Crumpton at (269) 387-7209.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
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