Page 76 - Fall2019
P. 76

 Sound Perspectives
L. Keeta Jones
Acoustical Society of America 1305 Walt Whitman Road Suite 300 Melville, New York 11747-4300 USA
Noise Awareness Outreach Efforts
It is clear that members of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) have an inter- est in noise awareness and outreach; however, active participation has waxed and waned through the years. In this essay, I share what I have learned about the historic involvement of the ASA in noise awareness before moving on to the Society’s noise outreach resurgence. I conclude with a discussion of future plans, including the International Year of Sound (IYS) in 2020.
A discussion of noise awareness in the Society must start with the ASA Standards Program. As the ASA Standards Director from 1972 to 1979, Henning von Gierke’s interest in noise became the focus of a joint sectional committee made up of the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) S1, Physical Acoustics, and ASC S3, Bio- acoustics. The joint committee was eventually disbanded with the establishment of ASC S12, Noise, in 1981, with the approval of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Standards for noise continue to be an important issue for the ASA, considering that ASC S12 is the largest committee and is responsible for the most standards (Blaeser and Struck, 2019). However, outside of standards, noise aware- ness outreach did not gain momentum for another 10 years.
In the fall of 1991, members of the Technical Committee on Noise (TCN) formed a Noise Task Group to discuss how and if the ASA should be involved in develop- ing policies for noise control and noise effects (Brooks et al., 1994). The Noise Task Group held a workshop in 1993 at the 125th ASA meeting to identify key issues and propose action for noise and its control. Workshop attendees identified needs in education, research, standards, and regulations, such as developing hearing loss demonstrations, tracking government activities, and hosting ASA special sessions (for the full forum report, see Brooks et al., 1995). After the workshop and up to
1995, the ASA had several special noise sessions and even hearing tests on-site, which reflected a growing societal interest and commitment to increasing and con- tributing to noise awareness.
The ASA even took this commitment to increasing noise awareness beyond meeting activities. Between 1993 and 1995, the ASA cosponsored “Save Your Hearing Day” on May 31 alongside the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE), and the Military Audiology Association (MAA). In observance of the 1995 Save Your Hearing Day, free hearing tests were provided outside the Smithsonian Institution (Anon, 1995).
Then, in 1996, the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC; formerly the League for the Hard of Hearing) established the first “International Noise Aware- ness Day” (INAD), and in support, the ASA sent copies of a special printing of the Noise Control Engineering Journal entitled Noise Control-Where We Stand Today (von Gierke and Johnson, 1996), which contained papers presented during the technical
76 | Acoustics Today | Fall 2019 | volume 15, issue 3 ©2019 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved.

   74   75   76   77   78