UNC Faculty, Students Part of International Conference on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, Prevention

An example of a mannequin constructed by UNC faculty and students to raise awareness about noise-induced hearing loss and prevention.

University of Northern Colorado faculty and students this week will join public health experts, school nurses, teachers and students from around the world for an international conference and public workshop in St. Paul, Minn., to address hearing loss and prevention in youth.

UNC speech scientist Don Finan and audiologist Deanna Meinke will lead a team of UNC graduate students to offer a free, public event on Oct. 16. "How loud is your music?" aims to raise awareness of the sound levels and durations that can cause permanent hearing loss when listening to music. The event features 20 teams from Minnesota and across the United States. Each will build a "Jolene," a mannequin that measures sound levels of music devices. Parents and children can watch teams create the mannequins, have their personal music players tested, and learn more about how loud music effects hearing and earphone choices. The event is open to all ages. Attendees are encouraged to stop in anytime between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., and bring their iPods, MP3 players and other personal music players. For more about the Jolene project, visit http://www.unco.edu/news/?4045.

Meinke, co-director of the conference, also will present and teach the Dangerous Decibels educator workshop, a public health campaign designed to reduce the incidence and prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) by changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of school-aged children.

For more information about the series, visit http://www.dangerousdecibels.org.