December 1997 Workshop on Acoustics and Learning


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June 5, 1998

 Dear Friends

  After a long delay, the undersigned are pleased to be able to finally send you the enclosed 224 page copy of the Presentations from the Workshop On Classroom Acoustics held on Dec. 7,8, 1997 at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, California.

  As you will see, this is an informal collection of the presentations which properly reflects the informal, "workshop" atmosphere that was so well received by the attendees. We have bound it so that you can easily open it out flat and, if necessary, copy any of the pages for your own use. A limited number of additional copies of these "Presentations" is available at a cost of $10 US each. Mail a check, made out to the "Acoustical Society of America" to Lou Sutherland at the address given below.

  As a direct or indirect result of the Workshop, some of the activity envisioned in our breakout sessions has occurred or is planned. This activity can be identified with a new slogan suggested since the Workshop, namely: "Let the Word Be Heard". This activity includes:

1) Presentations by Donna Sorkin and Mike Nixon at the National Exposition of Contract Interior Furnishings in Chicago and both Donna and Mike plus Lois Thibault in a panel discussion at the annual SHHH convention in Boston , both in June;

2) Presentations by Roberta Null, Dave Lubman, and "Red" Wetherill at the Universal Design Conference at Hofstra University in New York.

3) Presentations by Drs. Gary Evans of Cornell University and Arline Bronzaft, retired from City University of New York, at the Sept. 1997 meeting of the Federal Interagency Committee on Aircraft Noise (FICAN) on the issue of noise effects on children in classrooms.

4) Presentations in May, 1998 by Dr. Evans, arranged by Dave Lubman, at the San Juan Capistrano School Board and at a meeting of the Orange County Chapter of ASA.

5) Organizing meeting in June of an ASA Standards Working Group on Classroom Acoustics. The working group, co-chaired by Dave Lubman and Lou Sutherland, will meet during the ASA/ICA meeting in Seattle.

6) Another Workshop on Classroom Acoustics is being planned for New York City in late November or early Dec., 1998 by John Erdreich of Ostergaard Acoustical Assoc. and Katherine Harris of CUNY and Haskins Laboratory.

7) The American Audiology Association (AAA) has agreed to take an initial leadership role in helping get underway the Coalition that is outlined near the end of the enclosed Workshop presentations. A one-page draft mission statement for this Coalition is also included in the enclosed package. This initial leadership role is expected to include providing a "list server" service for all interested parties. If you want to be included on this list, please be sure Mike Nixon knows and that he has your e-mail address.

8) Lois Thibault has informed us that the Access Board has published the Request for Information (RFI) concerning Acoustic Barriers in Classrooms. A copy of the text of this RFI, downloaded from their WEB site at:, is also enclosed. Be sure to respond individually or as an organization to this very important and well-prepared document. A joint response to the RFI from at least some of the "Coaliton" members is being explored.


Publications resulting from, or directly related to, the Workshop include, in addition to this package:

o An editorial and article by Jerry Lilly, current President of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants in the Dec, 1997 issue of Sound and Vibration and a similar article in the latest NCAC Newsletter. (The latter is included as Appendix C in the enclosed "Presentations")

o Articles about the Workshop by Dave Lubman in a forthcoming copy of Echoes and by Neil Shaw in the Feb, 1998 issue of Sound and Communication,

o An article co-authored by Karen Anderson in the June, 1998 issue of School Planning and Management on classroom acoustics and amplification. This was preceded by an article on the same topic also prepared by Karen and published in the School Board Journal

o A feature article about Classroom Acoustics, arranged by Cheryl DeConde Johnson, will appear in the next Education Audiology Association (EAA) newsletter.

We have not attempted to include all the activity that has been stimulated by the Workshop but the above list indicates the momentum started at the Workshop has certainly not abated. If we've omitted an important activity of yours, please accept our apologies. However, you can all recognize where there are many opportunities for each of you to play your part in helping to "Let the Word be Heard".

If any of us can help you in this regard, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Most cordially,

Organizing Committee, ASA Workshop on Classroom Acoustics:

T. James DuBois
(818) 352-3772
FAX (818) 352-3342

Dave Lubman
(714) 373-3050

Peggy Nelson
(202) 651-5779, X 6464

Mike Nixon
(612) 745-0315

Mark Schaffer
(818) 991-9300

Sigfrid D. Soli
(213) 353-7085

Lou Sutherland
(310) 541-7654
27803 Longhill Dr.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-3908