Monthly Archives: February 2015

What Can You Do To Make Listening Safe and Protect Your Hearing?


The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared March 3rd International Ear Care Day (IECD).

There are all sorts of great ideas you can take advantage of to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.  Make safe listening a priority.  Once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back!

Monitor Safe Listening Levels

Auditory Overload image

The permissible time for safe listening decreases as sound levels increase.  When listening to personal audio devices, it is advisable to crank the volume up no more than 60% of your device’s maximum. Carefully fitted earphones and headphones will allow music to be hear clearly at lower levels of volume than will be possible with inexpensive earbuds.  Noise-cancelling earphones and headphones will cut down background noise and allow you to hear clearly at even lower volumes. Even at this level, limiting the use of personal audio devices to less than one hour per day would do much to reduce your exposure to hearing loss inducing noise.

The picture below shows examples of various levels of sound produced by different objects. The red highlights the maximum safe listening duration in hours, minutes, and seconds. Applications, or “apps” accessible through smartphones can measure noise exposure levels in real-time, so you can inform yourself about your exposure to noise loud enough to damage your hearing. The daily recommended safe volume level of ANY and ALL sound is below 85decibels for a maximum duration of eight hours.

Scan Permissible Daily Exposures Picture

The risk from noise exposure is cumulative.  In addition to limiting the use of personal audio devices, what can you do?

  • Limit the amount of time spent engaged in noisy activities
  • Wear hearing protection
  • Take short listening breaks
  • Move away from loud sounds

Heed the warning signs of hearing loss

Make an appointment to see a hearing health professional if you find yourself having difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds such as doorbells, telephones or alarm clocks.  Also, should you have trouble understanding speech, especially over the telephone or when there is any background noise, get thee to a hearing health professional.  Should you begin to have ringing in your ears or hear phantom noises that sound like clicks or whooshes you should get checked out.

If you have already visited a hearing health professional, have implemented all their recommendations (including hearing aids), and find you still struggle, assistive listening technology might help you better understand the spoken word. At Alternative Communication Services (ACS), we caption conference calls, webinars, videos, meetings, training, events, and TV shows.  We capture 100% of what gets said at speeds of up to 225 words per minute, with a 98.5% accuracy. We use highly skilled professionals to do this.  We do not use speech recognition software.  Let us show you how our speech-to-text services can change your life!

You can reach me at


2015 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week Kicks Off Feb. 15

NCRA logo

VIENNA, Va., Jan. 7, 2015 — TheTakeNote campaign, launched by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, broadcast and CART captioners, and legal videographers, serves as a main theme during the 2015 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, which runs Feb. 15-21. This year’s event marks the third year NCRA has sponsored the celebration designed to help increase the public’s awareness about the growing number of employment opportunities the profession offers. 

Here at ACS we are especially mindful of the difference CART makes in the lives of our consumers and our employees. Our CART, broadcast, and post-production  caption writers make it possible for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing to understand the spoken word on TV shows, in the classroom, on conference calls and webinars, at conferences and conventions, and when watching videos and films.  The impact of this amazing communicant access cannot be underestimated and we deliver our work product with great joy.

As ACS Business Development Manager Valerie Stafford-Mallis says, “I began losing my hearing in 1978 and I did not experience the miracle of CART until thirty year later,  when ACS co-owner and CART writer Mike Cano captioned a job interview for me. The heavens of equal communication access opened because for the first time, I was able to understand what everybody in that room said to me.  Ladies and gentlemen, on the eighth day, God created CART. “

So, congratulations to the members of NCRA as they Take Note and celebrate 2015’s National Court Reporting and Captioning Week kicking off the day after Valentines’ Day.  If you know a court reporter or caption writer, tell them “Thank you for making the world a better place.”  If you are interested in this exciting career option, check out the Take Note Campaign sponsored by the National Court Reporter’s Association

And, for more information on the many ways CART can open the world of equal communication access to you or someone you care about, email me at