Ten media outlets and five communication sciences and disorders professionals have been chosen as the recipients of the 2020 media awards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the organization announced. The awards recognize “outstanding coverage by print, broadcast, and digital outlets and outreach by ASHA-certified member audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs),” according to ASHA.

“Dominated partly by news of the pandemic, this past year has posed unique challenges to spreading the word about matters related to human communication,” ASHA President Theresa H. Rodgers, MA, CCC-SLP, said. “However, due to the extraordinary efforts of the recipients of this year’s media awards, those challenges were more than met, and the word was spread effectively. ASHA is pleased and proud to honor them.” 

ASHA’s 2020 Media Award recipients are as follows:

Print Media USA Today: For “Communications Time Bomb: Parents’ Smartphone Use Could Be the New Secondhand Smoke.” Published January 16, 2020, this ASHA op-ed raised the concern that popular technology overuse by parents could be hazardous to their children’s speech and language development.

Skilled Nursing News (SNN): For its extensive coverage of new Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement payment models. SNN devoted several articles to the topic, coverage that included the impact of the new models on SLPs and their clients.

The Atlantic: For “What Joe Biden Can’t Bring Himself to Say,” by John Hendrickson, published January 2020. Hendrickson wrote about presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden’s experience with a lifelong stutter—as well as about Hendrickson’s own stutter.

Digital Media U.S. News & World Report: The COVID-19 Effect on Health Care Grad Schools,” by Ilana Kowarski, published April 9, 2020. Kowarski explored how far-reaching disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the pool of students graduating in healthcare fields such as audiology and speech-language pathology.

Motherly: Early intervention + coronavirus: What to do when your child’s speech delay services are interrupted.” Motherly distributed critical advice for young children with speech delays whose treatment might be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

People: A Doctor Weighs in On Reusable Clear Face Masks,” by Summer Cartwright, published July 16, 2020. Cartwright quoted ASHA President Theresa H. Rodgers, MA, CCC-SLP for a story about how clear face masks can help alleviate the communication challenges opaque masks can pose to those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Broadcast MediaDoctor Radio – Sirius XM: For its May 20, 2020, interview on the channel’s Otolaryngology show with Deborah Berndtson, AuD, CCC-A, ASHA associate director of audiology professional practices. Berndtson discussed the issues that people with hearing loss may face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABC TV’s Good Morning AmericaFor its May 13, 2020, segment on teletherapy, featuring ASHA member Lori Caplan-Colon, MA, CCC-SLP. The segment illustrated how health care professionals such as speech-language pathologists are keeping children engaged during remote treatment sessions.

FOX 5 TV – Washington, DC: For its July 2, 2020, broadcast on the threat that fireworks celebrations can pose to hearing. ASHA member Shruti Deshpande, PhD, CCC-A offered safety tips to prevent permanent noise-induced hearing loss and provided advice for seeking help if one’s hearing has been compromised.

WCBS TV – New York City: For its April 24, 2020, broadcast on how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the demand for treatment from speech-language pathologists. The segment featured speech-language pathologists Marissa Barrera, PhD, CCC-SLP and Luis Riquelme, PhD, CCC-SLP, who have also been named ASHA Member Media Outreach Champions for this year.

2020 ASHA Member Media Outreach Champions Marissa Barrera, PhD, CCC-SLP: Barrera spoke to CBS TV’s New York, New York, affiliate to alert the public on how prolonged ventilator use during COVID-19 treatment can strain vocal folds and require speech-language pathology care for rehabilitation.

Kimberly Creel, MCD, CCC-SLP: Creel wrote an op-ed for the Opelika-Auburn News, Opelika, Alabama to help sound the alarm about the lack of teletherapy coverage under many health insurance plans—a critical omission in light of the coronavirus epidemic.

Phallon Doss, AuD, CCC-A: FOX TV’s San Antonio, Texas, affiliate interviewed Doss, who warned parents about the dangers posed by unsafe headphone use. She also advised the audience about how to use headphones safely.

Luis Riquelme, PhD, CCC-SLP: Riquelme spoke to CBS TV’s New York, New York, affiliate about how COVID-19 is challenging traditional ways in which speech-language pathologists provide treatment for swallowing and communication disorders. Riquelme also offered new opportunities to raise awareness about the importance of these services. 

Susan Yaffe-Oziel, MMS, CCC-A: Yaffe-Oziel appeared on Seniors Today—a show broadcast on  Montgomery County, Maryland, cable TV—to discuss the latest developments in hearing health care and to give the public advice for addressing hearing loss. Her appearance was taped and was accessible to viewers for 1 month. Yaffe-Oziel has also been featured in an ad for ASHA’s Value of the CCCs campaign, which promotes the value of ASHA certification and the work of ASHA Certified Members.

Source: ASHA