ASHA Names 2017 Media Award Winners

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Association Recognizes News Outlets for Outstanding Coverage and Member Experts for Outreach Work

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The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has announced today its 2017 Media Awards. The organization granted fourteen honors to media outlets and ASHA member “Media Outreach Champions,” and named one special award winner.

The 2017 Media Award winners are as follows:

Print Media
The Washington Post: For its July 9, 2017, op-ed, “Eating Out May Be Bad for Your Ears,” by ASHA President Gail Richard, which raised the problem of noise in restaurants and offered readers steps that they can take to protect their hearing. The article drew subsequently appeared in other major media outlets including the Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Consumer Reports: For Julia Calderone’s February 2, 2017, comprehensive report on hearing loss, “Hearing Loss: No More Suffering in Silence?,” which detailed the various options available to abate the problem of hearing loss. Calderone gave a detailed history of the development of hearing aid technology and provided a comprehensive look at how health care professionals administer treatment for hearing loss. In the report, Calderone also explored over-the-counter personal sound amplification devices (also known as PSAPs), while cautioning that experts suggest professional management of moderate to severe hearing loss.

The New York Times: For its April 25, 2017, story by Catherine Saint Louis that featured eight individuals—seven speech-language-pathologists (SLPs) and one student—who spoke about the growing field of voice modification for transgender individuals. The article, “Learning To Talk Like a Woman (or Man),” also included a Facebook Live chat with SLPs that received 229,000+ views.

Web MD Magazine: For its January/February 2017 issue, which included advice from audiologists Pamela Mason, MEd, CCC-A and Tina Penman, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA in a summary on hearing health. The segment featured lifestyle tips for coping with hearing loss—an issue that affects one in five Americans.

Digital Media

Autism Speaks Official Blog: ASHA President Gail J. Richard and Autism Speaks Vice President for Clinical Programs Donna Murray penned a primer on May 15, 2017, for the services offered by speech-language-pathologists (SLPs). The article explained how SLPs assist in the early identification of autism and help people with autism achieve effective social communication.

U.S. News & World Report: Advice from speech-language pathologists (SLPs) accompanied testimonies from people who stutter and their family members in the February 2, 2017, article, “How to Help Someone Who Stutters.” In the article, Author Lisa Esposito detailed how adults and children with stutters work with SLPs to improve their speech.

Slate: With advice from ASHA’s Director of Speech-Language Pathology Professional Practices Diane Paul, the August 22, 2016, article, “Yes, You Eated Gogurt for Bekfast!,” by Melinda Wenner Moyer addressed parents’ worries that repeating “baby talk” will harm their child’s speech development. Linguist Arika Okrent joined Paul, however, in stressing the importance of being a positive speech model and pointing out the red flags that might lead a parent to seek care.

Broadcast Media

ABC TV/Philadelphia: For its November 14, 2016, story with reporter Katherine Scott covering an ASHA children’s concert promoting safe listening that took place at a South Philadelphia elementary school. Performer Jazzy Ash of Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards spoke to her audience of children about the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss.

Science Friday: Following a motor vehicle accident, Pediatric Audiologist Allyson Sisler-Dinwiddie lost all her hearing over the course of 6 months. Although her cochlear implant (CI) restored her hearing, it could muddy sound when overstimulated. In a September 9, 2016, broadcast, Reporter Emily Driscoll followed the work of Rene Gifford in developing an experimental technique of improving the quality of CIs by turning off individual stimulating electrodes.

NBC News: Technology company VocaliD tackles the problem of depersonalized voices for those who use computerized devices to speak. Using a database of recordings from human volunteers, along with the sounds that individuals with severe speech disorders are able to make, VocaliD can develop a custom voice for each patient. For a segment broadcasted on January 21, 2017, John Torres, M.D. with NBC News interviewed Leo True-Frost, a middle schooler with cerebral palsy, as he debuted his own voice from VocaliD.

WYUU Tampa: Pamela Torres, MS, CCC-SLP, CAS—a speech-language pathologist with two bilingual children—spoke with Interviewer Christy Balderrama on June 4, 2017. Drawing from her experience as a therapist, Torres explored the development of bilingual children and dispelled common myths about growing up bilingual.

ASHA's Member Media Outreach Champions for 2017

Amee Shah, PhD, CCC-SLP: Shah has promoted public awareness of the communication sciences and disorders (CSD) discipline in numerous media interviews over the years. She most recently spoke with Slate, national known broadcaster John Tesh, and wine publication VinePair about voice, language, and accent modification.

Joy Peterson, AuD, CCC-A: Peterson gave an extensive interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer (conducted by Kids Health Assistant Editor Anna Nguyen) and spoke with Lauren Mayk at NBC in Philadelphia last November about the risk of noise-induced hearing loss from music and popular technology. These interviews were given in conjunction with a series of “safe listening” concerts that ASHA produced in Philadelphia schools. Along with simple guidelines—turning down the volume and taking listening breaks—Peterson revealed some of the risks stemming from the growing problem of noise-induced hearing loss. According to Peterson, children with hearing loss—a preventable but irreversible condition—achieve, on average, one to four grades lower than their peers with normal hearing, barring appropriate management.

Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP: Coleman has done comprehensive work over the years in educating the public about stuttering in children. In a December 27, 2016, article for, he explained the differences between typical disfluencies in toddlers and signs of stuttering. One example comes from a chart shared by Coleman in which the act of repeating phrases is considered a normal disfluency and the act of repeating syllables is considered a sign of stuttering. Coleman stressed the importance of getting an evaluation from a speech-language pathologist upon noticing signs of stuttering because a stutter is unlikely to go away completely after 7 years of age.

Special Award

Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health: As part of its imagining of a world centered upon better health, Kaiser Permanente featured two ads from ASHA’s Identify the Signs campaign at its Center for Total Health in Washington, DC. One exhibit at the Center depicts a re-created street scene with a bus stop where the ads were prominently displayed throughout Better Hearing and Speech Month this year.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 191,500 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders.

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