American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Rock Group O.A.R. To Promote American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Safe Listening Message

(Rockville, MD - May 30, 2007)  

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the rock group O.A.R. announced today that they have joined forces to further ASHA's public education campaign about the risk of hearing loss from unsafe usage of personal audio technology, "America: Tuned In Today . . . But Tuned Out Tomorrow?"

O.A.R. will be featured in campaign public service announcements, spots that will be disseminated nationally and available on the Listen To Your Buds Web site, ASHA's interactive bi-lingual web site for children, parents, and educators, and on the O.A.R. Web site. The sites will also share links. O.A.R. will also spread campaign messages to their many fans through their online newsletter.

"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with O.A.R. to shine a spotlight on the important issue of safe listening," ASHA President Noma Anderson says. "Educating music-lovers about how to listen to personal audio devices without damaging their hearing is a critical message for people of all ages." Anderson adds: "However, with O.A.R.'s help we can carry our message to a segment of the population who may need to hear it most—America's youth."

"Getting involved with ASHA's 'Listen to Your Buds' campaign made sense for us as a band," states Benj Gershman of O.A.R. "As musicians, we recognize the need for our audience and—for that matter—all music fans, to protect their hearing. While there are many different music players available today, there is only so much protection the manufacturers can provide. It is up to each of us to listen to our tunes responsibly."

O.A.R. stands for "of a revolution." The group has sold more than 1.2 million albums. They recorded the theme song for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and appeared live on the show's Thanksgiving special. They have also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, ESPN (MLB All Star Programming) and Last Call with Carson Daly. In 2006, O.A.R.'s video for the crowd favorite "Lay Down" was honored with the "Streaming Woodie" award for the Most Downloaded Video at the mtvU Woodie Awards. The band kicks off their summer 2007 tour with the release of Live From Madison Square Garden, double-disc CD and double-disc DVD sets recorded during O.A.R.'s sold out performance at Madison Square Garden earlier this year. In stores June 5, the CDs have all 18 tracks that were performed at the Garden while the DVD set features a 90 minute feature film on O.A.R. as well as their Madison Square Garden concert in its entirety.

Besides the site, key "America: Tuned In..." activities and results have included global media coverage; national polling on the public's usage habits of personal audio technology; press events featuring leading experts and policymakers on the subject of safe listening; presenting at the first ever national conference on noise-induced hearing loss in children; and, the development of several creative outreach tools. They include the "Buds," two child-friendly cartoon characters who bear safe listening messages, and "Turn Down The Volume", a rap song with a safe listening message that can be heard on the Buds' site.

The Consumer Electronics Association, Arlington, Virginia, is a major sponsor of "America: Tuned In..." which recently won an Associations Move America Forward award from the American Society of Association Executives.

Also, the campaign has been highlighted by Washington, D.C.-based "Pause, Parent, Play," a campaign designed to empower parents to choose what their kids watch, hear, and play from TV and movies to video games and music.

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 127,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists.




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