I am one of the founding members of Nebraska Hands &Voices and Guide By Your Side. I served as the first President of H&V for about six years. I am currently the Vice-President of H&V and am on the GBYS Committee, Finance Committee and work with the Connect reading program and mentoring project. I am also a member of the Nebraska Association of the Deaf. I previously worked with the EHDI Family Support Work Group.
I am a Legal Administrative Assistant with Lamson, Dugan & Murray, LLP and have also been active in the Omaha & Nebraska Legal Professional Associations. I am also active member of the Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force.
I have been married to my husband Marty for 28 years. We have three children – Thomas – 23, Amanda – 19, and Louie, the Labrador, who is almost 2. Thomas is profoundly deaf and has low vision. He has a cochlear implant and a hearing aid and uses Total Communication, relying mostly on sign language. Thomas graduated from Ralston High School and attends Metro Community College taking general education and art classes. Thomas works with the Nebraska Commission for Blind and Visually Impaired Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and through that program had the amazing opportunity to attend the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults last year. Thomas also works part-time at Michael’s craft store and has done so for almost three years. He is currently the Fine Arts Department Captain at Michael’s. Thomas hopes to continue his education and either teach art and work with deaf children, or work in graphic design.
I got involved with Hands & Voices because I wanted to share my experiences. Over the years, I received great support and lots of advice other “veteran parents” and felt that now that I am one of those “veterans” it was my time to give back. I also felt that even though I had a lot of support from professionals and parents, there were still things that I missed – information and organizations that I wish I had known about earlier on in our journey. I truly believe that parents are our best resource. Hands & Voices brings all these resources together.