Archives for November 2, 2017

National Microtia Awareness Day is November 9th!

National Microtia Awareness Day is just 1 week away, November 9th!

We look forward to helping raise awareness with so many of you all over the world, even though our awareness day is a National Day here in the United States. Everyone is welcome to join together just like so many did last year, everywhere.

Here are some ideas for helping raise awareness on National Microtia Awareness Day, November 9th, 2017:

1. Many parents, teachers, and children plan to help raise awareness at their schools. You can briefly talk about differences (including Microtia and Atresia), talk about hearing loss and hearing devices, and just spread kindness on this day. Everyone has something going on and it makes everyone happy to feel included, or to have someone just say “Hi” to you instead of staring or being mean in one manner or another. Be sure to include your school’s principal and staff on what you would like to do on our National Microtia Awareness Day so your efforts can be embraced fully.

2. Many plan to bring in treats for the class like awareness cup cakes, cookies, etc…

3. Many will be wearing our official National Microtia Awareness Day t-shirts, helping raise awareness on November 9th about Microtia and Atresia. Thank you to those of you who ordered our t-shirts last year and to those of you who ordered them this year!

4. On Facebook, many can participate in spreading awareness through social media by simply changing your profile picture to our awareness ribbon logo or your cover to our National Day logo. (see attached below). We also have a Microtia Awareness frame that you can all use through FB. Just search for Microtia Awareness in the frame search tab and it should come up. If not, I have posted about an easy way to create the frame on your own with the already created awareness overlay so you can place it over your favorite photo and have the same frame. (see previous posts on our page). We look forward to seeing so many pictures posted of all of you in your shirts or wearing blue with our blue ribbons so we can all enjoy seeing how special our day is and the impact it has on the public (world) for so many of us who have loved ones born with Microtia and Atresia. Let’s join together and make a difference with Ear Community!

5. Many plan to read a little from maybe the Wonder book (for the movie that will be releasing on November 17th), read from one of the Microtia and Atresia books that can be found on Ear Community’s website, or you can play this clip to the class or for little kids: (the clip starts about 2 minutes in and only takes a few moments). You can even read from your favorite book about hearing loss or ask the teacher to read to the class and touch on accepting differences.

6. Here is a picture of a bunny born with only one ear so children realize that animals and people can be born without one or both ears. The kids can enjoy passing this picture around if they would like or just show it to them. (see attached). We have a veterinarian in our support group (here with me in Colorado near CSU in Forth Collins) who called me one day and told me that she knows what Microtia and Atresia is since she has had some animal patients affected by this, but she also let me know she had a daughter born with Microtia and Atresia and she knew exactly what her daughter had and loved finding our organization.

7. Many networks, organizations, and medical device companies will also be blogging about our National Microtia Awareness Day on social media in hopes of helping raise awareness about Microtia and Atresia, helping support our Ear Community Organization, and to help educate everyone about missing and underdeveloped ears, hearing loss, and facial challenges in hopes that everyone will learn a bit more and be kinder and just say “hi” in public.

8. There is also a large movement taking place during the month of November with the movie “Wonder” releasing on November 17th. I think many of us are excited to see “Wonder” and hope that it will touch the hearts of children and adults everywhere, helping promote kindness. Among other challenges that Auggie has in this movie, he also happens to have Microtia. Microtia is mentioned in the Wonder book and we are the proud organization to have established National Microtia Awareness Day for our children and adults to have and not feel alone. Please choose kindness. It makes everyone happier.

Thank you so much and we are so very excited!!!
Melissa Tumblin
our entire Board of Directors and support group admins for
Ear Community

How Can I Support National Microtia Awareness Day on November 9?

Interview with Melissa Tumblin

November 1, 2017


What is National Microtia Awareness Day?  How can audiologists support this initiative?


Melissa Tumblin: National Microtia Awareness Day is November 9th each year in the United States.  It started in 2016. The purpose of National Microtia Awareness Day to help promote public awareness of microtia and atresia.  As the mother of a child who has microtia, and the founder of Ear Community, my hope is that families who have new babies born with microtia will leave the hospital armed with more answers than questions, and their dreams for their children intact.  If more people learn about microtia and atresia, they will be kinder and more accepting.  It is also my goal for people with microtia to realize that they are not alone.  Through this national day, they can find out about organizations and resources for information and support.

To support National Microtia Awareness Day, audiologists can educate themselves on this topic.  Microtia and atresia are relatively rare, and audiologists may have learned in school may be outdated.  Get up to speed on the causes of microtia and atresia, treatments, and the psychosocial impact on patients and families.  Ear Community is a great place to start and there are many other helpful resources available. Companies who offer bone anchored solutions such as Oticon MedicalCochlearMedtronic and others, provide information on their websites and may also have online courses on AudiologyOnline.  Audiologists should educate their staff and referral sources about microtia and atresia.  Medical and health professionals can show their support to all of the individuals who are born with microtia and atresia by simply blogging about it or making a “we celebrate National Microtia and Atresia Awareness Day” post on their websites and in social media.  Lack of information is still a problem at many medical facilities when it comes to helping families and providing resources for children who are born with microtia and atresia. While National Microtia Awareness Day is recognized in the United States, Ear Community’s website is translatable in over fifty different languages, so everyone around the world can access the information, resources and support that is available.

Thank you for supporting National Microtia Awareness Day on November 9!

Thank you to Dr. Carolyn Smaka, Editor-in-Chief of AudologyOnline!
For more information about AudiologyOnline, please click here.

melissa tumblin

Melissa Tumblin

Founder and Executive Director of the Ear Community

Melissa Tumblin is mom to Alyssa “Ally” Tumblin, a child born with right sided Microtia and Aural Atresia.  She is the Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community, a nonprofit organization that promotes educational and public awareness about Microtia and Atresia and hearing loss, in an unbiased manner, while promoting advocacy and connecting individuals in the same situation. She is also the founder of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook.  She is a past board member for the Hands & Voices Organization and a past council member for the Parent Advocacy Family Council for Children’s Hospital Colorado (Bill Daniels Center for Children’s Hearing).  She has spoken at microtia and atresia surgical conferences and has presented at past EAA (Educational Audiology Association) conferences and for AudiologyOnline.  Melissa has over 15 years experience in marketing medical device equipment.

Related Courses

Presented by Melissa Tumblin, sponsored by Oticon Medical, hosted by AudiologyOnline.

Microtia/Aural Atresia: A Parent’s Perspective
Click here.

“How to Overcome the Struggles of Pediatric Hearing Loss”
Click here.

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