Swallowing Awareness Day

In 2017, Speech Pathology Australia is hosting its second Swallowing Awareness Day on Wednesday 15 March.

Like breathing, swallowing is essential to everyday life. Humans swallow at least 900 times a day, around three times an hour during sleep, once per minute while awake and even more during meals.

Around one million Australians have a swallowing difficulty. Swallowing problems can occur at any stage of life. However, the knowledge of dysphagia and its implications remain largely unknown for most Australians.

Swallowing Awareness Day 2017 is an opportunity to bring attention to swallowing disorders and to connect people with speech pathologists, the professionals who can help.

What is Dysphagia?

Swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) is any problem with sucking, swallowing, drinking, chewing, eating, controlling saliva, taking medication, or protecting the lungs from food and drink ‘going the wrong way’. It can be a problem with keeping the lips closed so that food, liquid or saliva doesn’t dribble out.

Sometimes, the first sign of a swallowing problem is coughing, gagging or choking when eating and drinking. Swallowing problems can mean food, drinks or saliva gets into the lungs and this can cause lung infections (pneumonia). Reflux is a problem where the valves in the oesophagus causes the contents of the stomach (like food, drink or stomach acid) to come back up, sometimes reaching as far up as the throat and mouth.

Learn more about swallowing difficulty (called dysphagia) by reading the Fact Sheet on Swallowing This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..


The theme for Swallowing Awareness Day in 2017 is: Food and Drink to Die For

A secondary theme is: What’s this thing called Dysphagia?

Swallowing Infographic

An infographic is available to highlight Swallowing Awareness Day. The following can be downloaded:

Campaign Kit

In the Campaign Kit you will find material to help promote the Association’s Swallowing Awareness Day.

All the materials have been designed to allow you to either print them in your workplace or to take them to a commercial printer. The kit also includes a line drawing so you can get children involved with a colouring competition (or the like).

A4-sized version of the Swallowing Awareness Day Poster is available. Again, you may either print this in your workplace or take finished artwork to a commercial printer. (Both versions download n PDF)  This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

Download/view the Swallowing Awareness Day Campaign Kit. Print or photocopy individual pages in your office or workplace.

NB. The kit contains a link to the artwork you will need if you wish to have any of the collateral produced by a commercial printer.

Social media

Help spread the word about Swallowing Awareness Day. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so share your experiences and thoughts.

Use the hashtags: #dysphagia and/or #900swallows (NB. Do not use the hashtags: #swallowing #swallow or #SAD).


Download the Swallowing Awareness Day logo and add it to your email signature or Facebook page or on other materials.

Primary logo (Pelican)

Secondary logo (Dysphagia)

Media release

A template media release is available for Association members to use to promote Swallowing Awareness Day.

View the template media release This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in Microsoft Word Format..