Every family who has a child who is deaf or hard of hearing has a different story to tell, yet we all share a common bond. At Hands & Voices, we understand the power of parents coming together to support and learn from one another. Families who are just beginning the journey can learn from veteran parents about the challenges as well as the joys of raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. For many parents, their only regret in the early years is not connecting with other parents sooner!
What the GBYS Program can do for parents
Advocacy & Support
The Hands & Voices Parent Guide is a parent of a deaf or hard of hearing child who has been trained to provide support and advocacy for other families. Our guides have real life experience in raising a deaf/hh child, and are knowledgeable about the issues encompassing this journey. These guides are available to respond to the individual needs of each family and can utilize a whole network of H&V chapters across the country and outside its borders as needed
We’re here for you when YOU are ready! One-on-one consultation via phone, technology, or home visit on the topics you want to discuss, such as communication options, emotional support, educational choices, sibling and extended family issues, transition to preschool, where to find a pediatric audiologist or sign classes, etc. Some families do not know where to start, a Parent Guide can assist you in this journey.
Our parent guides can connect you to: -Practical resources: State and national resources; materials; recommended books, videos, websites, on a variety of topics from Deaf culture to language development, from bullying concerns to learning to swim and to drive. -Regional events, access to other families, access to deaf/hh adults, educational workshops. -Information and direction on IFSP and IEP development, Special education law information, navigating your community. -Coordinators specifically for parents who are Spanish speaking, and for families who have kids with unilateral hearing loss, “deaf plus” issues like autism and Down syndrome and more. -An experienced parent who can support you in understanding the unique needs of your child in the context of your family in this often unexpected journey.
The Guide By Your Side (GBYS) program is funded through generous grants from the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program.