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ASHA Announces Plans For Listen To Your Buds 'Safe Listening' Concert in Washington, DC

Group Aims To Build On Success Of Its Buds Chicago Concert

(Las Vegas, January 8, 2009) After a tremendously successful debut in Chicago, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) announced today that it will hold, again in collaboration with Parents' Choice Foundation, a second Listen To Your Buds concert, this time in Washington, DC in May.

May is recognized nationally and annually as Better Hearing and Speech Month, and the Listen To Your Buds concert will be one more step in a nationwide musical campaign to inspire young children to use personal audio technology safely by turning down the volume.

ASHA announced the May concert at the Kids @ Play Summit, a conference and exhibition held at CES in Las Vegas that explores how kids, from toddler to teen, play, learn, communicate and entertain themselves in the digital world. CES is the annual trade show of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), a leading sponsor of ASHA's Listen To Your Buds public education campaign.

That effort features "the Buds," two child-friendly caricatures, and aims to educate the very young about the risk of hearing loss from misuse of personal audio technology: It includes an interactive bilingual web site for young children, parents, grandparents, and educators (www.listentoyourbuds.com).

The free May Buds concert will be promoted to Washington area schools as a field trip destination. The concert will feature one or more leading children's musicians from a national coalition that has been assembled recently by ASHA and Parents' Choice and it will be held at a central, well known site much like the one that was used for the first Buds concert, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

"Feedback from children and adult attendees at our very first Buds concert last November strongly suggests that our Washington event will be a national teaching moment very effective way to instill in the young understanding of the importance of turning down the volume when they use personal audio technology," ASHA 2009 President Sue Hale said.

The Chicago concert featured five time Parents' Choice Gold Award winner Justin Roberts and the Not Ready For Naptime Players. In 2008, Amazon.com ranked their latest CD among the top ten in the country for children. The event attracted approximately 1,000 Chicago-area children who came as participants in school field trips. In advance of the concert, related lesson plans were disseminated throughout the Chicago public school system, the third largest in the nation, and students got an early jump on the spirit of the occasion by submitting colorings of the Buds for display at the concert site. Besides providing outstanding music, Roberts and his group put on a very creative and informative child-accessible skit about noise-induced hearing loss that no one in attendance will soon forget.

ASHA's Listen To Your Buds campaign is part of broader effort, ASHA's America: Tuned In Today...But Tuned Out Tomorrow? campaign which delivers safe listening messages to older age groups, too.. America: Tuned In has been honored for two straight years by the American Society of Association Executives. Besides CEA, sponsors include Califone International, Unwired Technology, Wynit, and the rock group O.A.R.

ASHA's Listen To Your Buds campaign is being featured at CES for the second straight year. ASHA is exhibiting there (booth #72309, the Kids@Play section, Exhibit Hall C, Sands Expo and Convention Center/The Venetian) and also presenting at the Kids@Play Summit Conference on January 9.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 130,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders. 

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