As a CSD student, you already appreciate the importance of hearing protection. Many of your fellow students—not so much. In fact, they’re probably doing something to damage their hearing right now … maybe blasting music through their headphones, taking a spin class where the noise level rivals that of a chainsaw, or attending a concert or campus sporting event without a pair of trusty earplugs.
As a future professional in the field, you’re in an ideal position to be a champion for hearing protection. And the perfect opportunity is right around the corner: World Hearing Day (March 3, 2018). This is a day of awareness created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and embraced domestically by ASHA and NSSLHA.
Here are some ways you can get involved and make a positive impact on your campus:
- Use ASHA’s ready-made social shareables. ASHA’s Digital Toolkit is chock full of info on hearing loss and protection. Share these on your social media accounts, with your NSSLHA chapter, and in any other way you see useful.
- Reach out to campus media. Write an op-ed for your college newspaper. Lead with the fact that it’s World Hearing Day and 1.1 billion people ages 12-35 are at risk of hearing loss from unsafe listening to their personal tech devices or attending too-loud entertainment venues. Let them know how easy it is to protect their hearing (and tell them how to do so).
- Host a safe listening event. Any fun social activity (mixer, game night, etc.) can become a “Safe Listening Event.” Keep the volume at reasonable levels, offer up some basic tips for hearing protection, show off some apps that people can use to monitor noise levels, and/or give out earplugs as door prizes (perhaps partner with a local audiologist who can donate or sponsor a giveaway). March 3rd is a Saturday so it’s perfect timing! Check out some other ideas in NSSLHA’s Event Idea Bank.
- Hold a free hearing screening. Approach your CSD department to see if this is something that they’d be willing to do.
- Advocate for safe noise levels on campus and in the community. Turns out, according to a poll commissioned recently by ASHA, people don’t actually like going to restaurants and other leisure settings where noise level is very high—in particular, 18-to-29-year olds. What locations or businesses are some of the top offenders on your campus? Get out in the community and ask managers about turning the volume down. Talk to the athletic department about noise levels at games. This could be another way to make news—issue a public call for the campus to take noise seriously and create a safer environment for students.
What will you do on campus for World Hearing Day? Comment below and share your ideas!