by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
This article in the New York Times discusses efforts being made by amusement parks and other venues to welcome visitors with autism. The CDC reported that about 1 in 57 children in the United States is now born with some form of autism.
Among the issues those with autism have is a sensitivity to noise. Quieter environments are better for them.
Quieter environments are also better for people with auditory disorders, including hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. These generally are much less of a problem than autism, but the “reasonable accommodations”–environmental modifications required by the Americans with Disabilities Act–being made for those with autism could provide a model for reasonable accommodations that could be made for those with auditory disorders.
In many cases, the simplest reasonable accommodation costs nothing: simply turn down the volume of the amplified sound.
Because if something sounds too loud, it IS too loud.
Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America. Dr Fink also is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council, and he served on the board of the American Tinnitus Association from 2015-2018.