The Make Listening Safe Initiative


Session 243

13:15–14:00, Monday, 19 March 2018 Room H2, ITU Montbrillant Captioning Thematic Workshop Speakers/Panellists  Link to WSIS Action Lines  Link to SDGs  Documents  Related Links 

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A foundation for safe listening in the Information Society

Over a billion young people worldwide are at risk of developing hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices and exposure to damaging levels of sound in noisy entertainment venues. The WHO “Make Listening Safe” Initiative draws attention to the rising problem of noise-induced hearing loss due to recreational exposure to loud sounds. It has partnered with ITU to bring together governments, health professionals, academia and the industry to discuss how ICTs can help make listening safe. Expected outcomes include policy briefs, international standards and awareness campaigns to ensure that people of all ages can enjoy music, games, movies and live events without jeopardizing their hearing.



Simão Campos, ITU


  • Hearing loss and the role of  ICTs: Shelly Chadha, WHO
    The talk will give a background about hearing loss and its common causes. It will highlight how unsafe listening through personal audio systems are creating a growing risk of hearing loss. It will describe simple practices for safe listening practices that can prevent hearing loss . Presentation
  • WHO’s initiative to make listening safe through use of ICTs: Elena Altieri, WHO
    The talk will give an overview of WHO’s initiative to make listening safe. It will outline key aspects of this initiative, including actions taken and future plans. Presentation
  • Safe listening standards for personal audio systems: Masahito Kawamori, ITU Q28/16 and Keio University, Japan
    The talk will outline the work undertaken by ITU in collaboration with WHO to develop standards for safe listening personal audio systems. Presentation

Session's link to WSIS Action Lines

  • AL C5 logo C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs
  • AL C7 e-Hea logo C7. ICT Applications: E-health

The session will highlight the need and means for developing safe ICT as a tool in hearing loss prevention.

Session's link to Sustainable Development Process

  • Goal 3: Good health and well-being logo Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all

Hearing health is an integral part of the overall health of humans. Improper use of technology is posing a challenge for hearing. Through awareness and innvoation it is possible to address this challenge.