Following is the 2006 evaluation report for the WISE EARS! campaign, a program developed by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH), and other public and private partners. WISE EARS! served as the predecessor to what is now the It’s a Noisy Plant. Protect Their Hearing.® campaign. The evaluation report includes key recommendations that led to the development of the Noisy Planet public education campaign.
In 1999, the NIDCD and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) joined forces with other public and private partners to launch WISE EARS!, a national campaign to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. The campaign’s objectives were to educate the general public about the risks of noise-induced hearing loss and to motivate individuals and organizations to increase awareness about preventing noise-induced hearing loss. Central to the effort was the development and distribution of free educational materials, available both online and through a toll-free information clearinghouse. The materials included bilingual fact sheets and other publications, promotional items, multimedia presentations, an activity book for third through sixth graders, and an in-depth, web-interactive curriculum for seventh- and eighth-grade students. In 2006, NIDCD evaluated WISE EARS! to determine how well the campaign was meeting its objectives and to make recommendations for the future direction of the campaign. Based on the evaluation’s key findings, NIDCD decided to retool its noise-induced hearing loss campaign by focusing on children ages nine to 13, forging more mutually beneficial partnerships, and making use of delivery channels with the highest potential to attract and engage the target audience.