Around the world, our employees are involved in causes and organizations that are important to them. To share in our successes as a company, we decided there was no better way to honour the hard work of our employees than to contribute to the community organizations that matter to them – and the Employee-Directed Gift Program was born. We’re excited to see the ripple effect these contributions will have on our community. Here is the first in a series of posts offering a glimpse into these stories.
Martello Director of Marketing, Tracy King chose the Cochlear Implant (CI) Support Group of Ottawa as the recipient of her employee-directed gift from the company. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic medical device that replaces the function of a damaged inner ear. This helps a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears to hear.
Four years ago, Tracy was navigating the challenges of hearing loss and facing the prospect of a cochlear implant. Directed to the CI Support Group by her audiologist at the Ottawa Hospital, she attended her first meeting in the hopes of learning more about the surgery, rehabilitation and prospects for improvement in her hearing. What she received from the group went far beyond her initial expectations: “At that time, there were very few environments where I could easily follow a conversation or even understand what was being said”, said Tracy. “The Cochlear Implant group was like a breath of fresh air – what I couldn’t understand through lip-reading during the meetings, I could read on the screen because of the real-time captioner at the meetings. The support and encouragement I received at that first meeting convinced me to go ahead with the surgery”.
Since then, Tracy has attended meetings regularly and takes great satisfaction in helping others the way in which she was, through the trials and tribulations of surgery, rehabilitation and learning to live with hearing loss. Recently, the group recognized that it would need to raise new funds in order to continue to offer real-time captioning at their regular meetings. Captioning is a costly but critical requirement for the CI Support Group: “The people attending our meetings have various degrees (or are in different stages) of hearing loss, and it’s important that this be a place where EVERYONE can understand what is being said and share their feelings. The real-time captioning also produces transcripts that are sent to a larger distribution list after each meeting, furthering our ability to help CI recipients in the community”, said Elisabeth Lumsden, who started the group more than 20 years ago after becoming one of the first in Ottawa to receive a cochlear implant.
It’s been proven that diversity brings value to organizations. Whether inside our doors or outside in our community, Martello values and promotes inclusion and full participation.