The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and Unwired Technology LLC announced today that they have agreed to work together to promote "America: Tuned In Today...But Tuned Out Tomorrow?", an ASHA public education campaign with a safe listening message about using personal audio technology.
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 127,000 speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech and hearing scientists. Unwired Technology is the world's top supplier of wireless headphones to the mobile electronics market.
"Approximately ten million Americans have a hearing loss that comes from noise exposure, and we're seeing an increase in the numbers," ASHA President Noma Anderson says. "The public needs be aware that they may be at risk of damaging their hearing if they listen to an audio system that is too loud for too long with the wrong type of headphones. We're pleased that Unwired Technology is on board to spread the word through its sizeable network of customers."
"We're delighted to be working with ASHA to address such an important issue," according to Joseph Damato, President and CEO, Unwired Technology. "Rear-seat entertainment is primarily enjoyed by children, and we feel it is very important for Unwired to do its part to safeguard kids against hearing loss later in life by helping them make better choices today. Our goal in collaborating with ASHA is to help the organization get the message out to consumers to turn down the volume, limit listening time and upgrade to safer headphones."
In coming weeks and months, ASHA and Unwired Technology will develop new and specific ways to promote "America: Tuned In Today". Unwired Technology-branded headphones will be packaged to carry an educational insert that has information about ASHA and its public service campaign. In addition, both ASHA and Unwired will distribute campaign educational materials at their booths at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2008 in Las Vegas.
Since December 2005, the "America: Tuned In Today" campaign has been at the forefront of raising public awareness about the potential risk of hearing loss from unsafe usage of personal audio technology. The effort has attracted global media coverage, commissioned the first-ever national polling on usage habits of current personal audio-technology, made cross-cultural minority outreach a focus of its activities, and appealed to a variety of ages through broadcast PSAs and tools like the kid-friendly "Buds" Web site, www.listentoyourbuds.org.
The ASHA-Unwired Technology collaboration is the most recent one to be announced. Over the past year, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Califone International, Inc. and the rock group O.A.R have also joined forces with ASHA's campaign. CEA has agreed to provide financial and in-kind support; Califone will be placing product information about the listentoyourbuds.org Web site in their products, which are distributed to tens of thousands of schools yearly; while O.A.R., which has sold more than 1.2 million albums worldwide, has made PSAs to promote the campaign that are being distributed nationally.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 127,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders. For more information about noise, hearing loss, and noise prevention, go to www.asha.org or 1-800-638-TALK.
About Unwired Technology
Headquartered in Plainview, New York, Unwired Technology LLC is the technology leader and premier global supplier of wireless headphones and transmitters to the automotive OEM market and aftermarket. All of the company's headphones and other products are produced under ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certification, and its OEM production is compliant with the highest automotive standard (TS/ISO16949). Unwired Technology's OEM division provides wireless accessories under many world-renowned brand names. Other products and technologies offered by the company include the breakthrough WhiteFire® digital wireless format that enables four stereo or eight monaural channels of entertainment to be transmitted simultaneously to listeners.
In addition to WhiteFire, Unwired Technology has led the industry with the development of its Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) for wireless headphones. Unwired has shrunk the circuit for its dual-channel infrared (IR) headphone models, increasing the reliability and durability of the units. The new ASIC chip-based headphones improve performance and use 80% fewer components for a lighter, more user-friendly accessory. This innovation also provides lower costs to Unwired's customers both in the OEM and automotive aftermarket.
Unwired Technology is a portfolio company of American Capital Strategies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: ACAS), the only alternative asset management company that is a member of the S&P 500. With $16 billion in assets under management, including its investments in externally managed funds, American Capital is the largest U.S. publicly traded private equity fund and one of the largest publicly traded alternative asset managers. For more information about Unwired, please visit www.unwiredtechnology.com.