Quiet-List 1997

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Re: BACKGROUND MUSIC AND THE HEARING IMPAIRED



You said:
>In a message dated 97-09-20 11:33:15 EDT, Stephen writes:

<< I am researching the effect of loud background music     on the hearing
impaired, their ability to function in such     an invironment and what has
or can be done to make     public areas like malls, restaurants etc. more
user    friendly to those with a hearing disability.  Any information, but 
  especially scientific studies, would be greatly appreciated.   >>

  I haven't had my hearing tested, but I probably have some   impairment.  
I have trouble understanding people when    there is loud noise in the
background, but is it because   I am hearing-impaired or is the noise loud
enough to    disrupt communication among persons with normal   hearing?   I
think that is the issue where the first focus   of attention needs to be
place.

  The world is just getting to be too damned loud, and   the volume needs
to come down for the benefit of everybody,   not just the hearing-impaired.

   In the early 70s the EPA said that the normal decibel    range for human
conversation is 50 to 60.  It would seem    that if the background noise
exceeds 60, then people are    going to have to talk louder in order to be
understood.

   For reference standards involving related to speech,    communication,
and hearing ability with respect to    background noise, researchers should
look to the past    for criteria about normality.   The loud environment of
   today should not be taken as normal.  It is a technological    creation
out of sync with the needs of the human organism. 

     -- Michael Wright
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== <

Michael, if the music came  down for the hearing impaired, it would also
come down for you!  It may annoy you when it is loud - it makes it
impossible for the hearing impaired to even communicate.  There is a
possibility that businesses could be forced to turn it down through
revision of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and you  would be a
beneficiary.   If you are Canadian, possibly there is similar legislation
that could be used to help both those with good hearing and those who are
less forltunate.  A baby step in quieting things down is better than
standing still in my opinion.  A study at Gatwick Airport showed that 80%
of the people were not even aware of the music.  The majority of the
remaining 20%  found it objectionable so Garwick turned it off. I suspect
that many of those who objected did so because they could not hear boarding
announcements etc.  
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Soundscape Awareness, and the Right to Quiet.     Email: "quiet-list@igc.org"
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For info, send message "info quiet-list" to same.
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