House Ear Institute Receives Grant from S. Mark Taper Foundation for Teen Hearing Loss Prevention

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LOS ANGELES, CA--House Ear Institute has received a $100,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation toward the national expansion of its Sound Partners teen hearing conservation initiative – It’s How You Listen that Counts. Recognizing teenagers are at increasingly high risk for hearing damage from noise, the Institute is rounding up support among foundations and corporations to educate teens about noise induced hearing loss. The message is focused on prevention.

Teenagers are known to be a challenging audience to reach concerning health issues. The institute was the first organization to make inroads with teens in the area of hearing conservation.

“With hearing loss on the rise, the House Ear Institute is committed to a leadership role in reaching teens and young adults nationwide about the issue and how they can protect their own hearing from needless damage over the long term,” says Marilee Potthoff, director of marketing, House Ear Institute. “The S. Mark Taper Foundation’s support significantly helps us in our abilities to achieve our goal.”

The national expansion will include a combination of Internet outreach and promotional messages to encourage teens nationwide to visit its educational Web site for the initiative– earbud.org. The nationwide campaign also will include the availability of new classroom tools to assist middle school and high school teachers in development of lesson plans on the topic.

“We recognize the importance of prevention education to help stem the rise of hearing loss in the U.S.,” said Raymond F. Reisler, executive director, S. Mark Taper Foundation. “Therefore, we are pleased to support House Ear Institute’s teen outreach initiative, which encourages young people to enjoy sound safely at a critical time when they are developing their adult listening habits.”

Since 2006, the It’s How You Listen That Counts initiative has educated hundreds of thousands of teens about preventing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and the message is resonating. The Institute’s 2006 test market campaign for the initiative resulted in a 30 percent increase in awareness for the importance of preventing NIHL among teens and young adult audiences. A profile featuring the initiative’s star character Ear Bud was launched on the popular teen networking site MyYearbook.com in October 2007, where he has attracted close to 50,000 young friends.

In funding the Sound Partners teen hearing conservation initiative – It’s How You Listen that Counts®, the S. Mark Taper Foundation joins other national organizations including Sennheiser Corporation, Mix Foundation, Entertainment Consumers Association and others.

For additional information, visit House Ear Institute’s Sound Partners program at www.hei.org or the site for teens and young adults at www.earbud.org, where visitors can even request a free pair of earplugs.


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