To encourage educators and students to use audio products safely in the classroom, Califone International, Inc. and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) are jointly announcing a collaboration to spread their message nationwide.
Both organizations believe that educators need to be aware of the risk of hearing damage or loss among their students. Hearing loss can be caused by many factors, but one that has recently caught the attention of safe hearing advocates (with the recent rise in popularity of personal MP3 players) is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. This condition results from listening too long to audio that is amplified beyond decibel levels considered safe for human ears.
“As hearing loss can lead to numerous problems in school, such as difficulty with academic achievement in language arts, vocabulary, arithmetic, and problem solving, we believe it is our duty to help educators inform their students on using technology responsibly,” said Tim Ridgway, Vice President of Marketing for Califone. “Pairing with ASHA complements our core principles and works to ensure that we can help more students use technology in the classroom correctly.”
Every day, students put their hearing at risk, often listening to music above 85 decibels, which is a level hearing experts recommend not be exceeded for prolonged periods. ASHA recently found that 40 percent of students reported they set their music players’ volume too loud.
“There are many steps educators can take to help prevent hearing loss in their students,” said Noma Anderson, president of ASHA. “America: Tuned In Today . . But Tuned Out Tomorrow? campaign offers suggestions and links to lesson plans that teachers can easily incorporate into their instruction. We look forward to working with Califone in disseminating our recommendations to a broad audience: lower the volume, limit listening time and upgrade to high-quality headphones.”
To begin their collaborative effort, ASHA and Califone will provide links to each other on their respective Web sites and are planning for more collaboration in the near future.
ASHA suggests a number of things that educators can do to help their students, including:
•Incorporate the topic of noise and hearing loss into lesson plans and classroom activities
•Be informed and aware about the implications of hearing loss in students
•Be aware of the warning signs.
For more information about the campaign, visit www.listentoyourbuds.org, an online resource for students, parents and educators to inform them about the potential long-term effects of using personal audio devices improperly. Stakeholders are also encouraged to ask their own in-school speech-and-language professional for more information. Also, visit www.califone.com for more information about high-quality, ambient-noise-reducing headphones, and other audio products designed specifically for educational purposes.
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 127,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. For more information about noise, hearing loss, and noise prevention, go to www.asha.org or 1-800-638-TALK.