Assent Form (Ages 7-17)

We are inviting you to be in a research study. This form will give you the information you need to help you decide if participating is something you would like to do. The purpose of this study is to understand how a human voice can be affected when an athlete experiences a hit to the head, e.g., when two athletes collide. You can participate in this study because we are collecting voice recordings of children and young adults playing all kinds of sports. In order for you to participate, your parent/guardian also has to provide permission.

If you agree to take part in this research project here is what will happen:

1. During a meeting at the beginning of this study, you will perform the test for the first time. It is a simple reading test, where 15 words are displayed on the screen of a tablet device and you are asked to speak these words into the microphone of the tablet device.
2. On occasion, when you participate in a practice session or game/competition, you may be asked to perform the same test again, typically right after (but sometimes also right before) the game/competition or practice session.

You are free to decide if you want to be a part of this study or not. Even if your parents gave you permission, you are free to decide not to participate. It is your decision and you may make it at any time. Your decision will not influence any services or grades you receive in school.

You can also stop the test at any time or ask the teacher/coach to repeat the test. If at any time you will uncomfortable taking the speech test, you can tell the teacher/coach that you want to stop. You may be worried that your participation in this study could get you in trouble. We will keep all voice recordings you provide confidential. This means we will not share information with anyone else. We won’t write your name on any forms. We will use a research code number instead. This way, no one will be able to find out the information about you.

While we make every effort to keep your information private, there are two things we cannot keep private. If we become aware of abuse, or neglect, to you or any other child, we must report it to law enforcement because this is required by the law. If we are concerned that you may hurt yourself or someone else, we are required to report it to the school administration, to get help for you and for anyone else that might get hurt.

We hope to use your information to help understand how the human voice differs from person to person (e.g., due to age) and should you experience any strong hits to your head or even a concussion, our goal is to see if this leads any slight changes in your voice that a computer could detect. There are no direct benefits for you if you agree to be in the study. By participating, you may help others in the future since our goal is to develop tools that will accurately detect whether an athlete has experienced a concussion and should see medical treatment. This research study is confidential. No one except the researchers will see your voice recordings.

At any time you have any questions about this study, you can talk to the person who is reading this form to you. You can also talk to the persons in charge of this project. They are Christian Poellabauer and Patrick Flynn from the University of Notre Dame, you can call or email Christian Poellabauer at 574-631-9131 and cpoellab@nd.edu or Patrick Flynn at 574-631-8803 and flynn@nd.edu. You can also talk to your teacher/coach at any time about this study. You may also want to talk to someone about your rights as a person who takes part in a research study. If you have questions about this you can call the University of Notre Dame IRB. You don’t have to give your name if you call. You can tell the person that you have some questions about the research study.

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