1. Sound Level Meters on Mobile Phones
We encourage teenagers and young adults, their parents and their grandparents to put an application on their mobile phones that measures decibels. They can then measure sound levels in their environment - at malls, movies, concerts, parties, Nascar races, athletic events, etc. This will make them aware of the noise levels they are being exposed to and motivate them to start protecting their hearing.
We are testing some of the applications for mobile phones that measure decibel levels to find ones that provide accurate measurements. For Iphones, we recommend the SPL Meter from Studio Six Digital ( a one time cost of 99 cents.)
We also want to get students to use these applications to provide statistics for research at the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Miami School of Medicine.
2. Jolene Project
We are providing instructions and materials for students to build a 'Jolene', a mannequin with a device that measures the sound levels of personal stereo systems. People can use Jolene to determine the decibel level that their ipods, MP3 players, etc. are blasting into their ears. When Jolene is brought to schools, health fairs and other public events, she attracts a crowd and makes many aware of the problem of noise-induced hearing loss.Click here to learn more about the Jolene Project.
3. New Hearing Protection Device
We are working with industrial design students at DASH (Design and Architecture Senior High) to develop a hearing protection device that will be fashionable and 'cool' for teenagers. This will hopefully become a popular item for them to use in noisy environments such as rock concerts. Click here to learn more about their amazing designs.
4. School Educational Programs
We are working on materials for schools and plan to provide teachers with materials for lessons in prevention of hearing loss. We also plan to teach teenagers so they will be able to give these lessons to Middle School and Elementary School students. Since noise-induced hearing loss happens gradually over many years, most people are unaware of the danger. In the past, most noise-induced hearing loss became evident in the Senior years, but now experts predict that the current young generation is at increasing risk of hearing loss occurring many years, even decades earlier than before. We need to make young people aware of the risk.
5. Student Public Service Announcements
In schools that have a film department, we encourage students to produce their own PSA on hearing loss in young people. We plan to host a competition and award prizes to the winning students and their teachers.
6. Hearing Protection at Local Music Festivals
We plan to enlist teenagers to help monitor decibel levels at outdoor music festivals and get their help in encouraging festival-goers to wear hearing protection. We hope to make inexpensive ear plugs available for free at these events. We also plan to have the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology help us provide a booth where festival-goers can have their hearing tested for free.
7. Parent and Grandparent Groups
We plan to form parent and grandparent groups to make them aware of the problem and encourage them to protect the hearing of their babies, young children, and grandchildren. We see parents bringing babies and young children to professional athletic events where the noise in the stadium reaches high decibel levels. Few if any of these children wear hearing protection, and parents are not aware of the problem. This is also true when babies and young children are brought to movie theaters where the decibel levels, especially of coming attractions, can be dangerously high. Some of the stores in shopping malls may play music at dangerously high noise levels that can damage hearing, and young children are especially vulnerable.
8. RSVP Project
The goal of this project is two-fold:
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