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WMU community, area residents urged to get hearing exams

by Mark Schwerin

May 6, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--The Western Michigan University community and Southwest Michigan residents are encouraged to schedule hearing exams at the WMU Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic during May in observance of Better Hearing and Speech Month.

An estimated 28 million Americans have hearing loss. If people think they or a loved one is among them, or they are 45 years old or older and have not yet had their hearing evaluated, they should consider having their hearing tested.

At the clinic, professional audiologists provide a full range of hearing evaluation services for people of all ages. Those services are covered for WMU employees, their dependents and retirees who participate in the Community Blue PPO health plan administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan. The comprehensive services are also available to residents throughout Southwest Michigan.

"We participate in many insurance plans and offer services on a sliding pay scale as needed," says Mary Peterson, a clinic audiologist. "We also provide excellent supervision and clinical training to students, the health care professionals of the future."

The clinic is located in the WMU Unified Clinics. The Unified Clinic are on the third and fourth floors of the University Medical and Health Services Center at 1000 Oakland Drive and are affiliate enterprises of the WMU College of Health and Human Services.

To schedule a hearing evaluation or consult on how to maximize the benefits of hearing aids or cochlear implants, visit People also can join a group session offered every Tuesday evening beginning May 10 to learn to better use the telephone; practice listening in noisy environments; use language and cognitive skills to improve communication; and develop "clear speech" to help a loved one with hearing loss.

For more information, email Mary Peterson, clinic audiologist, at