Effects of institutional room acoustics on speech discrimination of developmentally disabled residents and of staff

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High ambient noise levels and long reverberation times can degrade speech discrimination. An experiment examined the effects on speech discrimination of 2 acoustic factors: (a) noise level (high, 72 db; low, 65 db); and (b) reverberation times (long, 1.77 sec; short, .79 sec). Ss were 12 developmentally disabled state school residents and 12 normal staff members. Their speech discrimination abilities were tested under conditions simulating the institutional environment prior to renovations (high noise/long reverberation time) and following renovations (low noise/short reverberation time). A 3-way mixed ANOVA showed main effects of noise, reverberation time, and group. There was a Noise × Group interaction and a significant difference between simulated prerenovation and postrenovation conditions. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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