Communicative disability is a major health problem in our country today. Americans with hearing and speech handicaps number over twenty million. These disorders seriously affect the daily lives of people of all ages. The invisibility of communication impairment belies its serious consequences for those who must carry on normal living activities in our complex modern society.
Meeting the hearing and speech health service needs of men, women and children is thus a continuing challenge to our public and private health resources.
It is encouraging to know that the number of Americans who are overcoming hearing and speech handicaps is steadily increasing. During this national observance, I want to take the opportunity to applaud the individuals and groups who are involved in community activities relating to improved health, rehabilitation and social care for those with communicative disorders. Such steadfast effort in guiding and developing new programs in this area greatly enhances the well-being of those with hearing and speech disabilities and represents a most critical public service.