WHY WE NEED VOLUNTEERS
VoicePrint simply couldn’t operate without the support of our dedicated corps of volunteer readers, most of whom generously donate many hours of their valuable time so vision- and print-restricted Canadians can get the full details and deep context that only newspapers and magazines can provide.
Volunteers are welcome at all of our offices across Canada.
ONE VOLUNTEER’S JOURNEY TO VOICEPRINT
Susanne Schlomer was looking for a way “to improve and practice reading out loud regularly because I want to expand and read to children eventually. I figured what better way than to volunteer for an organization and get what I need at the same time!” she says.
To become a VoicePrint volunteer, all Susanne had to do was book an audition at one of our recording studios located across the country in centres such as Winnipeg, Halifax, Toronto, Lethbridge, Sudbury, St. Catharines, Edmonton, Ottawa, Calgary, Parry Sound, Victoria and Vancouver.
“The audition was quick and painless,” she says. “However, I was really glad afterwards that I spent one hour beforehand going over the word list and reading it out loud to myself. In reading over the words I decided to look some of them up in the various word books and dictionaries provided, especially the foreign names. To my surprise, some words I assumed I've always spoken correctly were indeed pronounced differently.”
Once complete, all VoicePrint auditions are sent to our Assessment Committee, made up of VoicePrint program coordinators across Canada. Each member assesses the audition (auditions are recorded) and grades it. “The very presence of a microphone also makes one aware that pronunciation to be understood is important,” explains Susanne, who has no prior broadcasting experience.
“I really enjoyed the experience of auditioning and afterwards found myself curious as to the actual outcome, not so much finding out if I was accepted, but I wanted to know if I scored well and what I needed to improve on. I was gratified and surprised to find out that I did really well – that the pacing was all I really needed to work on,” says Susanne.
Upon acceptance, readers may begin booking recording times. Each session consists of one hour of pre-time and one hour of recording. “I really like working with the people at VoicePrint, who are really kind and from all walks of life,” adds Susanne. “It might sound strange, but after a long day as a CEO's assistant, dealing with clients and an office full of people, sitting in a quiet, dark room reading out loud seems to be meditative and relaxing. Call me crazy!”
HOW TO APPLY
To become a volunteer reader you must successfully complete an audition that consists of an article and a word list to test pronunciation.
If you’d like to become a volunteer, please phone 1-800-567-6755 or e-mail
We have studios in the following cites:
- Halifax, NS
- Fredericton, NB
- Ottawa, ON
- Sudbury, ON
- Parry Sound, ON
- St. Catharines, ON
- Toronto, ON
- Winnipeg, MB
- Calgary, AB
- Lethbridge, AB
- Edmonton, AB
- Vancouver, BC
- Victoria, BC
Find Out More:
Download our information pamphlet (PDF) or
Download the audio version of the pamphlet (MP3)