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8 Tips for Better Hearing Over the Holidays

A Two-Way Street

For people with hearing loss, holiday gatherings can be exhausting work. But there’s a lot friends and family can do to reduce stress and frustration. Try these tips so that everyone can join the party.

1. Gain Attention

Don’t start talking before you know your companion is engaged. Address him or her by name, and if you can, position yourself on the side where the listener’s hearing is better and gently touch his or her hand, arm or shoulder to signal the start of a conversation.

2. Reduce Background Noise

Turn off the TV or radio. Don’t start talking while you’re already doing something noisy and distracting, such as emptying the dishwasher. If you’re in an office or other public place, look for a quiet corner where there’s less activity and noise.

3. Make Your Face Visible

Your facial expressions and body language add vital information for the listener, so position yourself opposite the listener at an optimum distance of 3 to 6 feet. If the room is dim, turn on another light. Cut down on gestures that involve touching your face.

4. Help With Lipreading

Hearing-impaired listeners need to see your mouth to best understand you. Don’t chew food or gum or smoke a cigarette while you’re talking. Be aware that beards and mustaches can hide your mouth. Make sure there isn’t a light directly behind your head.

5. Speak Naturally

Shouting can distort the sounds of words, so can overexaggerating your words. You can pick up the volume a little, but don’t overdo it. And speak at a normal pace — not too fast or too slow. If the listener needs extra time to process, try inserting pauses.

6. Rephrase Rather Than Repeat

If the listener doesn’t understand a word or phrase, find a different way to say what you want to communicate. Don’t simply repeat the same words. If someone with hearing loss walks in on a conversation you are having with someone else, take a minute to bring her or him up to speed.

7. Get the Group to Help

If you’re sitting down to a meal with others, the best place for the person with hearing loss is where he or she can see as many faces as possible — in your dining room, at the head of the table, in a restaurant, in a quiet corner. In any group, try not to talk over each other or carry on multiple conversations.

8. Check in

People with hearing loss may nod their heads as though they understand what you’ve said when, in fact, they did not. If you think your listener may not be following, ask if he or she understands and, if necessary, convey the information again in shorter, clearer sentences.

Emergency Preparation for People With Hearing Loss

As we enter hurricane season, it’s important for all of us to have an emergency plan in place. It’s even more important for those with hearing loss. Please read the article below to learn more!

Back to School: Self-Advocacy Tips for Students Who Stutter

As a speech/language pathologist with Savannah Speech and Hearing, I found this article on self-advocacy tips for students that stutter very interesting and helpful. When someone who stutters self-advocates, their self-esteem, social skills and confidence only increase. Check out the article below to learn more! – Cathy Nelson

Apogee Scholarship Fund

Did you know…you can redirect part of your Georgia state income tax to help a child who is deaf or hard of hearing receive auditory/oral intervention in an intensive preschool program at Sound Start – a program of Savannah Speech and Hearing Center.

Since 2009, Sound Start has received $92,294.97 in scholarship donations through Apogee. We have been able to make this program affordable for all children who need it.

Your redirection to the Apogee Scholarship Fund may qualify you for a 100% state income tax credit. You may also be able to claim a charitable contribution deduction on your federal income tax return.

The popularity of the GA School Choice Scholarship program has caught on and many more people are redirecting their tax dollars to benefit Georgia private schools. Last year, the cap of $58 million was met on January 1, 2017. Applications are now being accepted for 2018.

Please don’t wait. We need your help now! Click on the link below to start your application.

What a wonderful investment you are making in these children’s future

Full Moon Yoga at West Elm!

Dancing Dogs and West Elm have partnered and this Wednesday, May 10th from 7:30-8:30pm under the full moon they are offering a yoga class (suggested donation $10). A portion benefits Savannah Speech and Hearing Center!

Bring your mat downtown to West Elm!

“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.” — Aadil Palkhivala

38th Annual United Way HandsOn Savannah Volunteer Awards Celebration

This event recognizes citizens who demonstrate excellence in community leadership through volunteerism.  Awards will be given in each of the following categories:

Animal Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, and Human Services.

The Herschel V. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year Award will be selected from the overall winners in those five categories. The winner’s non-profit organization will be awarded $1,000 in honor of the winner.

A wonderful group of students from Armstrong State University were nominated for volunteering with the children at Sound Start. Ann Curry-Volunteer Coordinator, who was nominated for Volunteer Administration.

We are honored to be nominated for these awards and to proudly represent Savannah Speech and Hearing.

Pictured are Ann Curry, Shelbie Deaton, a student volunteer at ASU and Tracy Edenfield, Program Director at Sound Start.

Weekly Stroke Support Group Thrived Under the Guidance of 20 Smart Graduate Students

Graduate students in the Communication Science and Disorders Program – Armstrong State University

Savannah Speech and Hearing Center’s weekly Stroke Support Group has thrived under the guidance of 20 smart graduate students in the Communication Science and Disorders Program. For the past 10 weeks these amazing young women bring joy, laughter and community to the members of the Stroke Support Group. As always we are sad to see them go!

April Garrity writes:

Communication Help for Adults after Stroke (CHATS) is a service-learning experience in coordination with an existing community stroke survivors’ group at Savannah Speech and Hearing. Each week graduate students in the speech-language pathology program develop and facilitate weekly modules with the Stroke Group. These modules are designed to be fun and interactive, and typically focus on topics of functional communication for activities of daily living. Activities emphasize the use of any available functional communicative modality – including speaking, writing, drawing, and gesturing – in conversation. The goal is to provide a fun, supportive environment, in which group participants practice communication skills and build confidence in these skills.

April W. Garrity, PhD CCC-SLP
Associate Professor and Clinic Coordinator
Communication Sciences and Disorders Program
Armstrong State University

Off with his hair! SSHC Capital Campaign Fundraiser

Off with his hair! That’s right – Chris Hammond, Great Dane EVP of Sales, has offered to chop off his luscious locks if we can together raise $20,000 for the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center (SSHC).

SSHC is the only nonprofit speech and hearing center in southeastern Georgia. From infants with hearing loss to elderly stroke patients with speech limitations, the center helps thousands of patients in our community every year. With a sliding scale for payment, no patient is ever denied services due to an inability to pay.

This wonderful organization is on a mission to provide more services for more patients by expanding and updating their facilities, and we want to help them succeed! Not to mention, we really want to see Chris shave his head live on stage at our upcoming sales conference, Spark, in May. But what if you’re not attending the conference? Not to worry! We don’t want anyone to miss out on such a momentous event, so we will stream the shave via Facebook Live on May 9! And to top if off, the highest contributor will get the once in a lifetime opportunity to shave Chris’ head.

We will be accepting donations continuously starting March 20 and throughout this year’s Spark conference, May 7-9. You can donate on this page or send a contribution directly to SSHC noting the “Off With His Hair” fundraiser. No amount is too small.

This is a great way to give back to the communities that support us, and we know this group never backs down from a challenge, especially for a great cause. Please join us in raising money for SSHC and showing how we can make a difference.

Honoring Armstrong State University Senior Andrew Jones as 2016 Volunteer of the Year

Andrew Jones holding the Annie F. Oliver Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Andrew Jones holding the Annie F. Oliver Award for Volunteer of the Year.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, a nonprofit organization serving the speech pathology and audiology needs of the Coastal Empire, is pleased to announce Andrew Jones as this year’s recipient of the Annie F. Oliver Award for Volunteer of the Year. Jones worked over 85 hours volunteering at Savannah Speech and Hearing Center and its Sound Start School.

The Annie F. Oliver Award recognizes excellence and a strong commitment to volunteering for the betterment of the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center Community. Jones was honored with the award at a special volunteer reception held last week. The award was created in 1979 to honor Annie F. Oliver, an administrator of the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center from 1962 to 1978 and a community volunteer.  Thus far, there have been 35 recipients.

In 2016, the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center volunteers screened over 5,713 students in 30 public, private, and preschools in Savannah, Richmond Hill, and Pooler.  In addition, the volunteers spent 1260 hours serving at Sound Start, school hearing screenings, Hammond for Hope Auction, and The Stroke Support Group.

“I began volunteering at Sound Start in August 2016 and immediately knew I made the right choice,” said Andrew Jones, Annie F. Oliver Volunteer of the Year recipient. “My first day volunteering was quite overwhelming, to say the least. The classroom had just experienced a rather exciting arts and crafts activity and the kids were eager to make a new friend with the new volunteer, me!”

“Over the months at Sound Start, my relationships with these amazing and special kids grew to something I will cherish forever,” said Jones. “Being a part of their education and helping them progress through their speech and hearing skills is truly an honor. From one-on-one sessions, to group sessions, and from field trips to play time, I will always treasure the time I spent with the Sound Start children.”

Jones is currently a senior at Armstrong State University and will graduate in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. His goal is to attend Armstrong’s communication sciences and disorders master’s program and later become a Speech- Language Pathologist.

Andrew Jones and Sound Start Program Director Tracy Edenfield.

Andrew Jones and Sound Start Program Director Tracy Edenfield.


Since 1954, Savannah Speech and Hearing has been committed to providing comprehensive services to children and adults with speech, language, and/or hearing problems regardless of financial status in order for them to lead a happy and rewarding life.  Savannah Speech and Hearing offers a wide range of programs including Sound Start, audiology, speech, hearing aids, cochlear implants, information resource center, and other specialized programs.  All Savannah Speech and Hearing speech-language pathologists and audiologists are certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and are licensed by the Georgia State Board of Examiners for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. For more information, visit or call 912.355.4601.


2016 Sound Start Volunteer of the Year!

Congratulations to our 2016 Sound Start Volunteer of the Year, Andrew Jones! Thank you so much for volunteering Andrew!

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