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April 2000

WISE EARS!<sup>®</sup> News Logo

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New Press

The League for the Hard of Hearing got loads of press hits for its International Noise Awareness Day on April 12, 2000. Among the highlights: the Philippines hosted a national media countdown for one minute of no noise; President Clinton sent a message supporting the effort; and several media outlets including CBS Early Show, N.Y. Times, Indianapolis Star, CBS radio, and Fox 7 in New York covered the story. Among the positive results of the day: the mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, wants to revise the Noise Code; hundreds of people called for the free hearing screening offered at 19 sites in New York and 260 across the country; several corporations got involved, with one sending a notice to 10,000 employees; and an unbelievable town meeting that covered the nuts and bolts of handling a noise complaint will result in a resource guide for New Yorkers. Thanks go to Elliot Berger in Indianapolis, Indiana, who donated earplugs that were distributed around the world and hosted free hearing screenings and media activities. Please call 1-888-NOISE-88 to get involved for next year or visit www.lhh.org/noise/.

The WISE EARS!® campaign provided its "I Love What I Hear" animated video and information to Channel One in California. Channel One is the number-one source of news for American teenagers and is watched by five times the number of teenagers who watch news on most major networks combined. The April 12th broadcast coincided with International Noise Awareness Day and reached 8 million students in 12,000 secondary schools and 350,000 classrooms across the United States. Channel One also linked its web site to our WISE EARS!® Kids and Teachers page.

On April 20, 2000, CNN.com ran a story on baby boomers and hearing loss that was written by John Cutter at WebMD. NIDCD's Director, James Battey, M.D., Ph.D. and Kathy Peck at H.E.A.R. were both quoted.

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New Reporting Data

As of April 28, our NAPS "TIPS" piece has generated 1,060 newspaper articles in 32 states, with a readership of 92.6 million readers. Some 67 percent of the placements are from the top 50 markets. That doesn't count the articles in many constituency magazines and in the press, including PARADE, Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, Consumer Reports, L.A. Times, etc. In addition, a total of 8 million television viewers have seen the announcement.

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New Activities

WISE EARS!® Goes to the Movies
Guess who's playing at two movie theaters this spring? Yep, dB owl will debut at the Showcase Worcester in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Loews Cineplex, White Flint Mall, Kensington, Maryland. A slide of dB owl and his NIHL prevention message will be displayed three times before each film in every screening from April 20 through May 19. NIDCD is also planning to make presentations to schools and libraries in Worcester and at the theater and shopping mall in Kensington. This is part of our ongoing grassroots effort to take the WISE EARS!® message to American communities.

Look for NIDCD's new Parents Page in May 2000 at www.nidcd.nih.gov. This page will offer parents information on preventing noise-induced hearing loss in their children, as well as the facts on the early identification and treatment of hearing impairment, and speech and language milestone information.

The World Health Organization Community Noise guidelines are now in final form at www.who.int/docstore/peh/noise/guidelines2.html. You can download information on noises and their measurement and adverse health effects of noise. There are also guideline values for specific health effects of noise and for specific environments. Information on noise management is included, such as strategies and priorities in managing indoor noise levels, noise policies and legislation, the impact of environmental noise, and the enforcement of regulatory standards. The guidelines make recommendations for further government action.

The WISE EARS!® campaign was presented at the National Hearing Conservation Association's 25th conference on February 17-19, in Denver, Colorado. The keynote speaker was Dr. Linda Rosenstock, director of the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH). Dr. Rosenstock mentioned the campaign and Dr. Marin Allen (NIDCD) and Julie Tisdale (NIOSH) made a detailed presentation.

WISE EARS!® materials were distributed at the American Academy of Audiology meeting in Chicago, March 16-19. We ran out!

New Stuff
It's hot and off the presses. The WISE EARS!® grass roots flyer is now available. It is an easy-to-read, two-page, color handout that can be used to introduce adults and children to hearing conservation issues and the WISE EARS!® campaign. The flyer explains noise-induced hearing loss and tips to prevent it. Also included is a removable "How Loud Is Too Loud" bookmark that covers the impact of different decibel levels. The flyer will be available in Spanish this month thanks to a collaboration with our partners, the NIH Office of Hispanic Health.

New WISE EARS!® postcards and magnets featuring dB, the working owl, all decked out in his construction helmet are available. These materials will work well with workers who are over-exposed to noise.

Also, as the WISE EARS!® trademark becomes more popular, we are creating an attractive table tent card for coalition members to use at exhibits. This will be a simple way to let the public know you're a member of the coalition that cares about noise-induced hearing loss. Larger signs and event posters are also available.

Se Habla Espanol?
Several WISE EARS!® materials are being made accessible to Spanish-speaking individuals. Our "TIPS" piece on preventing noise-induced hearing loss distributed by the North American Precis (NAPS) to newspapers across the country is being recreated in Spanish. The new piece will be sent to 500 Spanish-language papers. In addition, the WISE EARS!® door hanger, the WISE EARS!® grassroots flyer, and dB's movie slide will be available in Spanish next month.

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New Partners

WISE EARS!® Welcomes You
Girls Scouts USA has joined the WISE EARS!® coalition and will help spread the word to 2.7 million Girl Scouts around the world. We will be sending materials on the campaign to 318 Girl Scout Councils this month.

Hearing Aid Music Foundation and Listen Smart have also joined the coalition. We look forward to having their help as we strive to get the message to teens and other music lovers.

Over 70 organizations have joined the WISE EARS!® coalition to date. Some new coalition members are

Ali Danesh, Ph.D., CCC-A,
Assistant Professor, Communication Disorders
Department of Health Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida

Colonel Richard W. Danielson, Ph.D.
Director of Audiology, Otolaryngology-
Head and Neck Surgery Service
Madigan Army Medical Center
Tacoma, Washington

Julee Sylvester
Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Sight & Hearing Association
St. Paul, Minnesota

Sandra C. MacLean
Occupational Audiologist
Washington Audiology Services Inc.

Amanda Niskar
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Environmental Health
Atlanta, Georgia

Vernon Larson
Audiology Manager
Howard Leight Industries
San Diego, California

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News From You

Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH) will end their 20th anniversary celebration on May 6, 2000, with a "National Day of Hearing Testing." Their goal is to provide free hearing screening to 20,000 people in one day. Many of the WISE EARS!® coalition members are collaborating with SHHH in this effort. Contact Nancy Nizankiewizc at nnizankiewicz@shhh.org for more information.

The Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center sponsored its 4th annual "Ears, Hearing, and Beyond" conference on March 11, 2000. The conference provided information to the general public on ear health, prevention of hearing loss, strategies for coping with hearing loss, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, current research, and more.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Hearing and Balance conducted a pilot program aimed at implementing a hearing conservation program in technical high schools. The program, called Sound Off!, included a day of hearing loss simulation, sound level measurement of classroom equipment and shop classes, hearing screenings, and classroom instruction of the anatomy of the ear. Based on the pre/post testing and student program evaluations, they've concluded that the program is an effective way to present hearing conservation messages to students at high risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

For more information, contact the NIDCD Information Clearinghouse.

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