May is Better Hearing and Speech Awareness Month and the Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre used the opportunity to take Sadie to Victoria High School for an educational out-trip.
Students were invited to let Sadie listen in on their ear buds and offer some advice on hearing loss.
Sadie is one of afamily of mannequins developed in 2009 to educate the public about the connection between exposure to loud noises and hearing loss. The project has spread around the world with other mannequins now active everywhere from China to Victoria. Sadie is one of two mannequins of her kind in Canada.
The mannequin’s secret is a high performance sound meter wired into the mannequin’s silicone ears. She hears what you hear, and when the sound level is compared to an easy to read chart, it’s possible to know what, if any, risk exists as a result of either the ambient sounds in the area or the volume of electronic devices like smart phones with ear buds.
Henry Casagrande, one of the Vic High students who tried Sadie’s sound meter, was surprised to learn his own music was set at a volume loud enough to cause some hearing damage after two hours.
Sadie’s next stops will include elementary schools in Victoria. You may also see her at larger public events and concerts throughout the summer.