Brochures |White Papers | Podcasts | Technical Manual Developed by the Multicultural Committee | Reading Disabilities | May is Better Hearing and Speech Month


White Papers


NJSHA has developed a series of podcasts. The first set explores various NJSHA committees and will provide insight into what each committee does and what is involved in participation on the committee. The common thread of NJSHA’s podcasts is to provide information about the organization and resources that raise awareness of the issues, advocacy and changes that affect the professionals and the clients served across the lifespan.

Podcast Topics:

Technical Manual Developed by the Multicultural Committee

Reading Disabilities

Children with speech and language disorders are at-risk for learning disabilities (LD) in the areas of reading, spelling, and writing. This can lead to problems with academics, as well as problems with self-esteem and social skills. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and speech-language specialists (SLSs), can help.

Here are some resources for individuals interested in learning more about reading, reading disorders, including dyslexia, disorders of written expression, and the role of language in literacy development:

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

ASHA Resources

SLP Resources

Teletherapy Materials

AAC and Telepractice


Parents and Clinicians

Materials and Games by Skill Area









Sequencing/Story Recall


Memory and Attention

Materials and Games by Grade

Tips and Tricks to Minimize the Impact of Hearing Loss During This Time of Physical Distancing

  • If you are having trouble understanding what is being said tell the person with whom you are communicating. Good communication is your right!
  • Take advantage of telemedicine services that may be available by your audiologist.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling your hearing aids or cochlear implant processors. Remember they are close to your eyes and mouth.
  • Use a communication card like that available on the NJ Department of Human Services website.
  • If possible, ask individuals with whom you are interacting to use a facemask that has a clear window. There are several companies that make these masks (e.g.,, Please note that supplies are limited. If you do a quick search of YouTube will find many DIY videos to make clear masks for yourself.
  • Use smartphone apps to facilitate communication. There are many available in the Google Play Store or the App Store. As with most smartphone apps, there is a range in quality and price. Many are free. (Review this abbreviated list, derived from a presentation at the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary.)
    • Apps that convert speech to text so that what is being said can be seen by your eyes.
    • Apps to allow home hearing tests that allow you to monitor your hearing and provide results that can be shared with your audiologist.
    • Apps that can function as limited hearing aids.
  • Use YouTube to find tips and tricks to troubleshoot and maybe even fix a simple problem with your hearing aid like wax build-up.
  • Consumer devices that function as personal listening devices are available online. They range in price and quality so be sure to verify the return policy of any product you may purchase.
  • If you have to go out, be prepared with a statement about your hearing loss, use a communication card. If you plan to use an app practice with it before you enter a challenging communication situation. The Hearing Loss Association of America has many resources on its website that you may find useful.

Remember hearing loss can create social distancing so let’s think about managing COVID-19 by using physical distancing not social distancing.

Impact of COVID-19 on Hearing and on Individuals with Hearing Loss

COVID-19 as a Cause of Hearing Loss?

  • Many individuals with hearing loss are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because they are in the age group (over 65) that has been shown to be more susceptible to the virus.
  • Individuals in this age group are also more likely to have diabetes, heart disease and hypertension which has also been associated with susceptibility to the effects of the virus.
  • COVID-19 affects different people in different ways but there are some common symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath and fever).
  • At this point there is not much information regarding the role of COVID-19 as a possible cause of hearing loss.

Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Hearing Loss

  • Individuals with hearing loss face communication challenges on a daily basis which are exacerbated by the steps that are being taken to “flatten the curve”.
  • Sheltering in place for the nearly 48 million Americans is likely to create communication difficulties especially if access to audiology services are limited.
  • Broken hearing aids can create a sense of social isolation and loneliness that can cause stress that may weaken the immune system making individuals more susceptible to the effects of COVID-19.
  • Use of facemasks and social distancing are major tools used to limit the spread of the virus.
    • Typical facemasks that are in use create several problems for people with hearing loss.
      • Covering the mouth eliminates the possibility to speech read
      • In a recently published an article the authors showed that masks can make speech sound softer and muffled

Ideas to Minimize the Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Hearing Loss

  • Broken hearing aids may be able to be fixed remotely so reach out to an audiologist.
  • Use a speech to text app on a smartphone phone to change speech so that it can be read.
  • Use a communication card that is available from the NJ Department of Human Services.

Other Resources: