How do you change the world? We believe change happens one day at a time, one person at a time. We can’t solve every problem out there, but something that we can do, here at SHOEBOX, is test people’s hearing.
It seems like a small thing. After all, getting a hearing test is free almost everywhere in Ontario. Anyone can go to an audiologist and get a full test, all they have to do is make an appointment.
But the reality is that there are a huge amount of people out there with undiagnosed hearing loss, because for whatever reason—whether it’s because they don’t even know they have a problem, or don’t know where to look for help, or don’t know they can get a test for free—a lot of people just don’t go get tested.
When our company added the amazing Change the World Day for employees—a paid day every year to volunteer—we wanted to find a way to do what we do best: test people’s hearing.
This past November, with the help of SHOEBOX CMO Matt Bromwich and Bruyère Director of Innovation and Development Mitchell Kutney, we completed our first volunteer day, testing administrators at Bruyère with SHOEBOX QuickTest at an onsite training day.
Prior to arriving at Bruyère, we completed a one-hour training session on QuickTest with the team, that included how to use the product, how to help people understand their results, and how to handle any possible issues that might come up on the day of.
Then, we were ready! We arrived at Bruyère at 8am on a Tuesday, and the day unfolded from there. Overall, we tested 50 people, recommended follow ups with an audiologist to 6 (the majority of whom had no idea they might have a hearing problem), and had a great time.
How great a time? Our volunteers tell you in their own words below:
Olivia Allan, Marketing & Communications Specialist
I wanted to take part in volunteering because… I really enjoy watching people interact with our product—whether it be a potential new customer at a conference, or an end user at the 55 Plus show—people are always so impressed and fascinated by SHOEBOX! I think everyone who works here should have the opportunity to experience that, so I’m happy to lend a helping hand in making that happen.
The most interesting part of volunteering was… getting to witness end users interact with SHOEBOX. Everyone was so impressed with how easy it was to use and the accuracy of the results.
Uri Schoijett, QA Developer
I wanted to take part in volunteering because… I wanted to use our volunteer day in a cool way that still relates to hearing healthcare.
The most interesting part of volunteering was… finding people with undiagnosed hearing loss who we were able to direct to helpful follow-up care.
Vanessa Gauthier-Davidson, In-house Audiologist
I wanted to take part in volunteering because… it is great to see SHOEBOX being used in the community and the volunteering day allows you to see the product in action.
The most interesting part of volunteering was… seeing my colleagues interact with the employees at Bruyère. They were super comfortable with explaining what QuickTest was after just a short training.
I wanted to take part in volunteering because… I wanted to help increase hearing awareness thus contributing to the community in a meaningful way.
The most interesting part of volunteering was… the curiosity people had for checking their hearing and the relief or concerns that follow.
Amy Fraser, Clinical Research Associate
I wanted to take part in volunteering because… it’s a great way to give back to the community and feel like you are making a difference.
The most interesting part of volunteering was… observing the positive reaction to QuickTest.
Sara Berkes, Senior Product Designer and Design Tribe Lead
I wanted to take part in volunteering because… I have learned so much about hearing since I started here, and have learned through usability testing that a lot of people with hearing loss have no idea they have hearing loss! I’ve also seen through family members what a difference getting help can make in quality of life. I want to help spread hearing knowledge and awareness as wide as I can, so anyone who needs to get help knows that they need it.
The most interesting part of volunteering was… encountering people with hearing loss who seem to have no idea, but then after being presented with the results kind of start to put the puzzle pieces together… whenever I hear “oh, that explains so much about my interactions with my family, or my trouble on the phone” etc., it’s really cool. People suddenly realize that all this stuff they just kind of accepted could actually maybe be helped!