May 2021: Better Hearing and Speech Awareness Month

WHEREAS, approximately 7.4 percent of Michiganders identify as Deaf, Deaf Blind 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 80 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 one 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 three months of age;

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


WHEREAS, early language and speech development services help infants and children 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, I join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services EHDI Program and Michigan residents in celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month to 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 individuals affected by hearing disorders;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2021 as Better Hearing and Speech Awareness Month in Michigan.