Dear Architects [and developers]: Sound Matters

amplitude modulation(If we could add just one more audio to this article – a field, before and after wind turbines.)

New York Times, By Micheal Kimmelman
We talk about how cities and buildings look. We call places landmarks or eyesores. But we rarely talk about how architecture sounds, aside from when a building or room is noisy.

The spaces we design and inhabit all have distinctive sounds. The reading rooms at the New York Public Library have an overlay of rich sound. Your office may be a big room in a glass building with rows of cubicles where people stare into computer screens.
It may be sealed off from the outside, and you may think it is quiet.

Is it?

Often the sound of a place is so pervasive that we stop noticing what we hear. Or we think the sound could not be otherwise — that is, until we, say, turn off the buzzing overhead lights.

Compare, for instance, the ear-shattering subway platform in New York City with a relatively silent station in Paris, where trains slide into platforms on whooshing wheels: Read article (and listen to the audio)

14 thoughts on “Dear Architects [and developers]: Sound Matters

  1. Yes…I just saw that and thought the exact same thing!

    We need to get a major publication to do a piece like this on soundscapes in rural environments comparing the deeply comforting sounds of nature to the absolutely distressing noise of turbines making the ‘metal on metal as if bearings have dried out’ screech and the vast array of other disorienting sounds they make in an otherwise natural environment, especially when clusters surround a home or neighbourhood and wind companies are permitted to envelop homes in their power stations.
    We also need to not only reproduce infrasound radiation in the lab, but then proceed to test human beings for thresholds to find out at what point the migraines, nausea, pain in ears, dizziness, rapid heart beat, high blood pressure etc. begin. I wonder who would volunteer for such an experiment?

    • They don’t need us to volunteer. They have a captive population. So much for free and informed consent!

      • Ethics in research…
        Ethics in practice…
        & FRAUD.

        “I didn’t intend to break any laws…”

  2. This is from the Nuremberg Code which was meant to prevent people from being harmed through experimentation. Without thorough health studies having been done before placing complex arrays of turbines around people’s homes, it looks to me as if this qualifies as an ‘experiment’.

    “An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and consequences of an action. To give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts. Impairments to reasoning and judgment that may prevent informed consent include basic intellectual or emotional immaturity, high levels of stress such as PTSD or a severe intellectual disability, severe mental illness, intoxication, severe sleep deprivation, Alzheimer’s disease, or being in a coma.

    Some acts can take place because of a lack of informed consent. In cases where an individual is considered unable to give informed consent, another person is generally authorized to give consent on his behalf, e.g., parents or legal guardians of a child (though in this circumstance the child may be required to provide informed assent) and conservators for the mentally ill.

    In cases where an individual is provided insufficient information to form a reasoned decision, serious ethical issues arise. Such cases in a clinical trial in medical research are anticipated and prevented by an ethics committee or Institutional Review Board.”

    Could someone explain to me why innocent, fully functioning rural people have been violated in this way?

  3. Following are some excerpts from “Professional Advisory – Duty to Report” that was distributed by the Ontario College of Teachers with the September 2015 issue of Professionally Speaking magazine.

    Ontario College of Teachers

    The College is the self-regulating professional body for Ontario teachers.
    The College is trusted to regulate the teaching profession by setting standards of practice and accrediting teacher education programs.

    “Renewed Focus”
    On the path to better governance.
    By Angela Palma, OCT

    Inserted in the centre of this issue, you will find our new Professional Advisory – Duty to Report. It provides important information to Ontario teachers about their legal and ethical duty to report suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect.

    The privilege of self-regulation
    …part of a profession that regulates itself–just like nurses, doctors and lawyers.


    “The College’s latest professional advisory, Duty to Report, provides advice to members on reporting suspected child neglect and abuse.”
    By Jennifer Lewington

    ‘[excerpt] But in College focus groups held in the summer of 2014, teachers, parents and other participants expressed concern and confusion over their obligations.
    “The issue of duty to report was clearly seen as an area that required further professional development among teachers,” says Richard Lewko, the College’s director of Corporate and Council Services.
    Among the concerns, he adds, was a “lack of clarity about the circumstances that would trigger a report.”
    The College consulted with experts and critical readers, including children’s aid societies, school board supervisory officers, union affiliates and police services to prepare a professional advisory to assist teachers in reporting suspected child neglect and abuse.
    Deputy Registrar Joe Jamieson, OCT, says the duty to report links directly to the College’s professional misconduct regulation. “Failure to report under the Child and Family Services Act is misconduct,” he says, noting teachers need to reflect on their duty under Regulation 437/97, beyond any ethical obligations.’

  4. Professional Advisory

    The Council of the Ontario College of Teachers approved this professional advisory on June 4, 2015 to remind members that they have a duty to report abuse and/or neglect of children and youth.

    Each of us has a responsibility to protect children and youth from harm.

    Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) requires those who perform professional or official duties with respect to children to report suspected child abuse where there are reasonable gounds.

    You don’t have to be certain that a child may need protection. Suspicion on reasonable grounds– information that an average person, using normal and honest judgment would need to decide– is reason enough to report. You have to report to a children’s aid society so that they can assess and determine what the child needs.

    Do you notice when children and youth have unexplained injuries, they’re not eating, they have poor hygiene or are falling asleep in class? These may be signs of family problems, abuse or neglect.

    Do you know what prompts your duty to report? Do you know to whom you report? Do you know the consequences of not reporting?

    This advisory will help to address those questions.

    What is abuse?
    “Abuse occurs when a child is hurt intentionally or when a parent or caregiver does not provide the protection a child needs. Physical and sexual abuse are often the most recognizable, but neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging.”
    – The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

    Ethical Underpinnings

    The ethical standards of care, respect, trust and interity hold that members express their commitment to students’ well-being and learning through positive influence, professional judgment and empathy in practice.

    All professionals have a legal duty to report and an ethical and moral duty to take responsibility for carrying out the duties of their profession.

    Legal and Disciplinary Implications

    – Under the Professional Misconduct Regulation, College members can be found guilty of professional misconduct if they fail to comply with duties under the Child and Family Services Act. (s. 1, para. 27)

    – Employers who are aware or made aware of a member’s failure to make a report under the CFSA are required to report the failure to act to the College. (s 43, OCTA)

    Advice to Members

    Your duty to report is immediate. If you have reasonable grounds to supect that a child is in need of protection, report your suspicion, and the information on which it is based, forthwith to your local children’s aid society.

    Your duty to report is direct. You cannot rely on anyone else to report on your behalf, nor can you delegate your legal duty. A supervisor cannot instruct you to do otherwise.

    Your duty to report is ongoing. Even if you have reported previously, you must make a further report to a children’s aid society if you suspect the child still requires protection.

    Your duty to report overrides concerns about confidentiality. You are still legally obliged to report if a student tells you something “in confidence.”

    Once you have reasonable grounds to suspect abuse or neglect, your duty is to report not investigate. A children’s aid society will investigate.

    Be aware of your employer’s policies and protocols and the advice of your professional associations.

    Document your actions.

    When in doubt about whether to make a report, call your local children’s aid society.

    • Know Your Professional Responsibilities
      Know your obligations
      – Everyone has a duty to protect children and a duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect, according to the CFSA.
      – Become familiar with the legislation and your employer’s policies and protocols.
      – The duty to report supersedes all other obligations.
      – You do not have to prove suspected abuse or neglect. Your report enables the children’s aid society to investigate the information.
      – You cannot be held liable for making a report as long as you have reasonable grounds for your suspicion and are not acting maliciously. (CFSA, s. 72 (7))

      A Framework for Action
      – the signs of abuse and neglect
      – children may not know their rights and what constitutes abuse and neglect
      – your duty to report is initiated when you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection.

      Abuse or neglect may include:
      – a child is hurt intentionally
      – a parent or caregiver does not adequately care for or protect the child or protect the child from others
      – a child has suffered emotional harm demonstrated by serious anxiety, depression, withdrawal, self-destructive or aggressive behavior or delayed development.

      – not all symptoms of poverty constitute neglect. Poverty is a reality for many marginalized children and their families.

      – the duty to report is ongoing, which means that if you have made a report about a child and suspect further abuse or neglect, you must report to the CAS again.
      – the act of making a report under the CFSA is, by nature, stressful. Members may seek support and guidance from their school administrators, through their Employee Assistance Programs or from their professional associations.

      A child in need of protection is one who is or who appears to be suffering from abuse and/or neglect, who may demonstrate this through actions, spoken word, artistic drawings or other means.

      Possible signs observed by the member and/or shared by the child may include:

      – Physical Abuse

      – Sexual Abuse

      – Emotional Abuse
      – repeated treatment that negatively affects the child’s sense of self-worth or self-esteem and impairs the child’s growth, development and psychological functioning
      – yelling, ignoring, rejecting, demeaning, isolating or exposing the child to domestic violence

      – Domestic Violence
      – violent or abusive behaviour occuring within the child’s home, usually involving the abuse of a partner or spouse
      – all acts that eliminate a nurturing environment for the child

      – Neglect
      – failure of a parent or caregiver to provide the child with basic needs such as adequate food, sleep, safety, supervision, clothing or medical treatment
      – failure to provide, support or consent to treatment where a child has a medical, mental, emotional or developmental condition requiring treatment

      – Abandonment/Separation

      – Caregiver Incapacity
      – substance abuse or mental health concerns that have an impact on a child’s safety or well-being.

      A referral should be made when members are aware that abuse or neglect is suspected in a household where children under the age of 16 may reside.

      Even if you’ve reported previously, be aware that you may need to report again.

      Notwithstanding the examples provided, College members are expected to demonstrate professional judgment, which is informed at all times by the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

      • When reporting:
        – make and keep accurate and factual notes that lead you to suspect child abuse or neglect (your employer may have templates or guidelines to follow). Store these notes in a secure place as they may be required at a later date.

        – have I read and understood this advice and am I aware of my employer’s policies and protocols, and advice from my professional association?
        – have I inquired about additional training, resources and support to help me?
        – have I shared my learning with others?
        – do I fully understand my obligation to report when I suspect that a child is or may be in need of protecton?

        Be Able to Say with Confidence…
        – I have reported my suspicions and the information on which they are based appropriately and promptly to protect and safeguard the child.
        – I have let the children in my care know that they have rights.
        – I have done all I can as an ethical teaching practitioner to inform myself, seek training and support and take prompt and immediate action when required in suspected matters of child neglect and abuse.

  5. My nephew and his wife got reported because the teacher thought their daughter was too big for age. He is 6’5″ and his wife is 5’11”. But they did have to have their daughter seen by a doctor. Accused of over- feeding the child.

    These kinds of things can get carried to extremes. Schools have administrators and professionals and this is there job to do.

  6. Probably a majority of the administrators and so-called professionals aren’t aware of the impacts that exposure to industrial wind energy facilities can have on sensitive populations like children. Probably the same can be said for a majority of the doctors that treat the children.

    This is a serious problem that can cause serious harm.
    The Ontario Public Health Standards, 2008 (Revised May 1, 2014), outline the expectations of public health, including this “Board of Health Outcome”:

    “The public and community partners are aware of health hazard incidents and risks in a timely manner.

    Comparing the evidence that was available in 2009, for example, with the low level of understanding there still is today, 7 years later, paints a picture of what public health FAILURE looks like.

  7. Mostly this will be an IWT school issue if a child falls asleep in class or misses too many days of school.

    Both are issues for schools to investigate. There are other reasons why children fall asleep in school or miss too many days of school.

    Teachers should be wary of becoming involved in lawsuits.

  8. I heard of a registered charity that hired retired teachers to deliver specialized learning plans in schools near wind turbines to some students who were struggling.

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