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Inside NIDCD Newsletter

Spring 2009

Feature Stories

In October 2008, the NIDCD launched a new national public education campaign to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss, NIHL, in young people by focusing on “tweens”—the trendy term for kids between the ages of 8 and 12. Called It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing, the campaign is designed to educate parents of tweens about the causes and prevention of NIHL so that they, in turn, can encourage their children to develop safe listening habits that can help maintain healthy hearing for life.

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Recent NIDCD and NIH Research News

A more standardized approach is needed to evaluate the language skills of young children with autism spectrum disorders, says a soon-to-be published article in the Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research. The authors, a panel of experts assembled by the NIDCD, are advocating the new method so that researchers, clinicians, and other professionals are better able to compare the effectiveness of intervention strategies used for treating children with autism spectrum disorders.

In October 2008, NIDCD participated in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services meeting on progress being made toward hearing health objectives set by Healthy People 2010, our national blueprint for better health. Read the article summarizing NIDCD’s presentation related to noise-induced hearing loss prevention in children.

Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational injuries in the country. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set strict guidelines regarding the protection of workers from exposure to too much noise, the availability of training for many workers has been limited. For Latino workers, who make up about 25 percent of the construction work force in the United States, the availability of training is even less, considering their need for an intervention that is culturally and linguistically relevant. NIDCD has funded the development of a computer-based bilingual intervention program to help disseminate NIHL-prevention messages among Latino construction workers. 

NIDCD Highlights

NIH staff members, intramural and extramural researchers, former and current administrators, and others gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the NIDCD. Held Thursday, October 23, 2008, the symposium shone a light on advances that have been made in the last two decades toward our understanding of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language disorders. It also showcased the stories and talents of several individuals who have experienced a communication disorder—be it directly or indirectly—and who have likely benefited in some way from this research. 

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President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on February 17, 2009. Among the goals of the Recovery Act are to preserve and create jobs, promote economic recovery, and provide investments to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health. As part of the Recovery Act, NIH has received $10 billion to be used in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010. NIDCD's portion of this is approximately $100 million. Learn more about NIH funding opportunities through the Recovery Act. 

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