School’s out for summer and kids of all ages will spend even more time listening to personal audio devices. That could mean an unsafe season lies ahead for their hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is recognized as a global public health threat, so what better time than now for ASHA members to take the lead in spreading awareness about safe listening habits?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion young people are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Potentially damaging listening habits—too loud, too long, too often—remain a leading culprit for this risk. WHO’s concern led to the recent release of recommendations referred to as a global standard for safe listening.
Such developments—coupled with the pending summer season—make the call for safe listening more relevant than ever. So, throughout June, ASHA will spread the hearing health word. The goal includes giving the public practical, easy-to-apply tips for protecting their hearing. We hope members use these resources to let clients, students, patients, and colleagues—along with family and friends—know how they can protect their hearing.
Bringing ASHA members’ expertise to the forefront on this critical global issue is key to our outreach efforts. Specifically, we will engage ASHA-member audiologists as media sources, in addition to providing all ASHA-member audiologists with resources for conducting their own grassroots outreach.
ASHA’s outreach this June builds on a lengthy timeline of spreading the word about safe listening. For a decade, our efforts focused on ASHA’s Listen To Your Buds campaign, which featured “safe listening concerts” in schools around the country.
ASHA-member audiologists were a foundational part of that effort. They often served as sources for national and local media, panelists at forums held at the Consumer Electronics Show—one of the biggest technology shows in the world—and staff for exhibits at major trade shows.
It’s not too late to be part of the pre-summer outreach being planned. If you are an ASHA-member audiologist and are willing to be interviewed by media, please email firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest and the best way to contact you. We will reply with the details involved. Generally, we notify members of opportunities as far in advance as possible, always in concert with their own schedules.
Thank you to all ASHA members who contributed to past efforts and thank you in advance to those who plan to help share the safe-listening resources this summer. Best wishes for a summer of safe listening!
Joseph Cerquone, is ASHA director of public relations. email@example.com.