May 2019: Better Hearing and Speech Month

WHEREAS, approximately, 1.8 million Michigan residents are deaf or hard of hearing; and,


WHEREAS, deaf or hard of hearing is the third most common condition after arthritis and heart disease; and,


WHEREAS, approximately one to three in every 1,000 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program works to provide better outcomes for Michigan newborns and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families through early hearing screening, appropriate audiological diagnosis, and intervention; and,


WHEREAS, the EHDI Program provides assistance to 81 Michigan birthing hospitals to conduct newborn hearing screening services; and,


WHEREAS, the National EHDI 1-3-6 Goals include:

"1" - All infants are screened for hearing no later than 1 month of age, preferably before hospital discharge;

"3" - All infants who do not pass the screening will have a diagnostic hearing evaluation no later than 3 months of age;

"6" - All infants identified as deaf or hard of hearing are enrolled in early intervention services no later than 6 months of age; and,


WHEREAS, early language and speech development in infants and children assists them to acquire skills that are critical to literacy success; and,


WHEREAS, individuals, parents, grandparents, and relatives can learn more about infant hearing screening and family support resources at; and,


WHEREAS, we are pleased to join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services EHDI Program and Michigan residents in celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month. We applaud the tireless work of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, hearing screeners, nurses, pediatricians, otolaryngologists, early interventionists and all other providers who work in our state to bring better hearing and speech to those individuals who are affected by communication disorders;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2019 as Better Hearing and Speech Awareness Month in Michigan.