January 8, 2008

RESTON, Va — The American Academy of Audiology, Reston, Va, has won the Award of Excellence in the 2008 Associations Advance America Awards program, a national competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) & The Center for Association Leadership, Washington, DC.

The Academy received the award for its Turn It to the Leftsm Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) campaign. This program is now in the running to receive a Summit Award, ASAE & The Center’s top recognition for association programs, to be presented in ceremonies at ASAE’s 9th Annual Summit Awards Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2008.

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a major public health concern. More than 5 million children—or 13%—are estimated to suffer from NIHL, which experts agree could have been easily prevented if they took actions such as turning down the volume on their personal music players—or “turning the volume dial to the left.”

Recognizing that the risk of permanent hearing loss from noise exposure is very real for individuals of all ages, the American Academy of Audiology has undertaken a campaign to raise public awareness about the dangers of exposure to high-level sound and to raise funds in support of noise-induced hearing loss research. These activities have recently been fueled by Turn It to the Left, an educational rap song on noise-induced hearing loss written by the Academy’s good friend, musician Benjamin Jackson. The rap’s “hook" urges all to take the volume control and “turn it to the left.”

Both the campaign and the rap address the dangers of hearing loss, but they also clearly explain how to avoid it. “The only way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to turn the volume down—just turn the dial to the left, walk away, or use ear plugs,” said Dr. Alison Grimes, president of the Academy. “It sounds simple, but kids aren’t doing it. Parents and teachers need to help educate kids at home and at school.”

Now in its 18th year, the prestigious Associations Advance America Awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward—with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service. Although association activities have a powerful impact on everyday life, they often go unnoticed by the general public.

“The Academy’s program truly embodies the spirit of the Associations Advance America campaign. It is an honor and an inspiration to showcase this activity as an example of the many contributions associations are making to advance American society,” says 2007-2008 Associations Advance America Committee Chair Matthew D’Uva, CAE, president of SOCAP International.

For more information about this campaign and hearing loss, visit www.audiology.org or www.turnittotheleft.com.

SOURCE: American Academy of Audiolog