ASHA Engages With World Health Organization On Hearing Protection Effort

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The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has joined an advisory group to the World Health Organization (WHO) on the development of a WHO initiative that will seek to inform policy makers and educate the public about the risk of hearing loss from noisy leisure activities, with listening to loud music a highlighted concern.

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With hearing loss a leading disability worldwide, it’s indeed fitting for the call for safe listening to go out globally.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has joined an advisory group to the World Health Organization (WHO) on the development of a WHO initiative that will seek to inform policy makers and educate the public about the risk of hearing loss from noisy leisure activities, with listening to loud music a highlighted concern.

Entitled “Make Listening Safe,” the effort will debut next year. WHO asked ASHA to serve as an advisor, noting that the Rockville, Maryland organization’s Listen To Your Buds campaign (http://www.asha.org/buds/) has been an effective public education tool about the risk of hearing loss from regular high volume listening to personal audio technology.

“We are excited by and very appreciative of the opportunity to work with WHO on ‘Make Listening Safe,’” ASHA President Elizabeth McCrea, PhD, CCC-SLP, said. “With hearing loss a leading disability worldwide, it’s indeed fitting for the call for safe listening to go out globally.”

ASHA’s collaboration with WHO marks one more development in the growth of its international stature and involvement.

Recently, the Pan American Health Organization officially recognized ASHA as an NGO in part because of the technical assistance ASHA is providing to several Central American countries that are building their capacities for addressing communication disorders.

Additionally, ASHA is a founder of the International Communication Project 2014 (http://www.communication2014.com). Dedicated to raising public awareness of communication disorders, this unprecedented collaborative effort has attracted more than 50 participating organizations around the globe, since it debuted in January.

Meanwhile, the Listen To Your Buds campaign continues. Later this month, it will put on six “safe listening” concerts in schools in Orlando, Florida. In recent years, the campaign has reached out directly to schools and school systems across the United States, from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles; from Chicago to New Orleans. Its Florida concerts will coincide with the opening of ASHA’s 2014 Convention in Orlando.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 173,000 audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. http://www.asha.org/.

View all ASHA press releases at http://www.asha.org/about/news.

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