Communication is a fundamental part of life, and as future audiologists and speech-language pathologists, we’ll work with individuals who have a wide variety of speech, language, and hearing differences and disorders. The online NSSLHA chapter at the University of South Florida believes everyone has the right to communicate—no matter what that communication looks or sounds like. In our effort to promote awareness about the many ways people express themselves, we created an initiative called “Communication for All.”
The initiative is symbolized by a ribbon designed by our Chapter Vice President Brittany Probus. Three intertwining loops symbolize the three components of communication (speech, language, and hearing) and contain colors that represent causes, differences, and disorders related to communication.
Additionally, as a part of this initiative, we produced a social media campaign throughout the month of December called, “25 Days of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD).” Each day, from December 1-25, we released a video that featured an individual with a communication difference or disorder.
Shoutout to Our Amazing Participants
The amazing individuals highlighted in our “25 Days of CSD” campaign represent individuals who have a range of communication difference: from more widely known communication differences like stuttering and hearing loss, to lesser-known communication differences related to selective mutism and vocal cord polyps.
We also highlighted techniques and technology related to addressing communication differences, such as the use of sign language, cochlear implants, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.
Additionally, we featured individuals who represent different populations that a speech-language pathologist or audiologist may assist, such as those who are transgender or those who wish to better manage their accent.
Our Growth as Future AuDs and SLPs
Not only did this campaign allow us to promote awareness of communication differences and disorders, but it also gave us an opportunity to learn and grow ourselves. We learned:
- The power to adapt and overcome. The individuals we featured are facing their challenges head-on and are able to spread messages of hope to everyone watching.
- Everyone has a story to tell. Our participants spoke about what’s important to them and how their communication difference or disorder has impacted their life.
- No one’s alone. Each individual featured in these videos is surrounded by a community of family, friends, and those who’ve helped them along the way. This campaign provided another opportunity to join a larger network of like-minded people.
- Virtually connected. We learned how to stay connected virtually within our community, allowing us to grow and impact more people. By showing the diversity of individuals who see speech therapists and audiologists, we’ve been able to educate our friends, family, and strangers about CSD.
- Celebrate and advocate for diversity. No matter the background, difference, or disorder, all the wonderful people showcased in “25 Days of CSD” have found a way of communication that works for best for them. We should celebrate diversity daily and advocate for everyone’s ability to express themselves.
Help Us Share Our Message
Our goal of this campaign was to spread recognition of the many facets of communication and how everyone’s expression is unique. Through our social media platforms, the #CommunicationForAll hashtag and our “25 Days of CSD” videos were viewed more than 15,000 times and reached more than 6,000 people!
We hope to continue this growth within our communities! Please take a few minutes to view all of the “25 Days of CSD” campaign videos on Instagram and Facebook, then share them with your family and friends.
We thank everyone who joined us for “25 Days of CSD.” Together, we showcased just how important communication is for all and that everybody deserves a voice.