International Noise Awareness Day: In the beginning
Noise and its impact on hearing health have long been part of the mission of the Center for Hearing and Communication (known years ago as the League for the Hard of Hearing). In fact, 50 years ago, a “League” Board member created a new organization dedicated to fight the alarming increase in urban noise – Citizens for a Quieter City.
The organization, advised by the then “League” Executive Director, was established to create an awareness of the need for the control of city noises and of the means available for noise control. High on the priority list for action by the citizens’ group was “the establishment of an agency within the structure of government that will investigate and mitigate the noise menace in much the same way the Department of Air Pollution Control is beginning to combat the poisons in the air we breathe.”
Making of an international movement
Fast forward 30 years, and “the League,” with the guidance of NYC Noise Expert Arline Bronzaft, established The Noise Center to educate the public about the harmful effects of noise on hearing and health. Among other activities, we worked with the Department of Environmental Protection to revise the Noise Code and in 1996, the “League” established the first-ever Noise Awareness Day.
What started as a local event quickly grew into an international event (INAD) with participants from around the globe who shared the common mission of reducing noise in our world. Activities for INAD have included hearing screenings across the country, the dissemination of earplugs, following “the Quiet Diet” with a moment of silence mid-day, school activities, a poster contest, changes in legislation and more.
Just as when it was established in 1910, the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) continues to be concerned about the negative impact of noise on hearing and health. We continue to promote hearing conservation and celebrate the importance of quiet with our partners around the world, not only on International Noise Awareness Day, but every day.
Thank you to the growing community of corporations, schools and government agencies that participate in International Noise Awareness Day – which this year takes place Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
Nancy Nadler is the Deputy Executive Director at the Center for Hearing and Communication. She has worked at CHC since 1985. Prior to being named Development Director in 2004, Nancy Nadler established CHC’s Noise Center in 1992. As Director of the Noise Center she developed, coordinated and implemented International Noise Awareness Day, a worldwide campaign designed to educate students and the general public about the impact of noise on hearing, health and quality of life. Ms. Nadler received her Masters Degree in Education of the Deaf from Smith College and a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College/Columbia University. As a guest expert on The Today Show, CNN, NBC Nightly News, 20/20, as well as with NPR, BBC and The New York Times, Nancy Nadler is sought out extensively to discuss issues related to noise and hearing health.