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Re: BACKGROUND MUSIC AND THE HEARING IMPAIRED
>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
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
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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Pollution, Soundscape Awareness, and the Right to Quiet. Email:
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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
QUIET-LIST: Internet Mail List and Forum for discussion of Noise Pollution,
Soundscape Awareness, and the Right to Quiet. Email: "firstname.lastname@example.org"
To subscribe, email "email@example.com" with message "subscribe quiet-list".
For info, send message "info quiet-list" to same.
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