Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology. We are a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our outreach activities, parent/professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling deaf and hard-of-hearing children to reach their highest potential.
The Indiana Chapter of Hands & Voices came about after a gathering of parents who have deaf or hard-of-hearing children felt inspired to begin a local chapter as a means to unite parents throughout Indiana and provide a venue in which information could be easily shared. Creating a strong network of both parents and professionals gives us strength and influence, creating the power to change.
In our organization you will find a safe sounding board for the choices you are making as a parent. You will find non-judgmental support, feedback, input, and validation.
Our organizations board consists of deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing individuals. We are parents with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. We are also professionals from the health and educational fields who work with this special population.
Hands and Voices is an instrument for representation, collaboration, and advocacy. Here parents give "hands" & "voices" to a constituency of minors and put a "face" on the issues.
Guide By Your Side
Guide By Your Side™ is a program from Hands and Voices that provides emotional support and unbiased information from trained Parent Guides to families of newly identified children who are deaf or hard of hearing and to the systems that serve them.
Key Elements of the Program:
Provide early support to parents after confirmation of hearing loss
Offer unbiased resource dissemination about hearing loss
Emotional support from another parent who “understands”
Creation of a Guided Family Notebook
Ensure smooth entrance into Early Intervention and services
Opportunity for continued support through Hands & Voices Chapter
Benefits of the Program: To Families
Early, local, and unconditional family support by a trained Parent Guide
Statewide parent contacts
Parents will be assured that information is shared in a timely and unbiased manner and is accessible to all
Families will experience a smooth entrance into Early Intervention
Support to help families identify their options and goals for their child
Help for families to discover their strengths and their child’s strengths
Creation of a Guided Family Notebook of resources and information specific to their child
To the State
A pool of trained parent leader
Sustainable capacity to support families statewide
A model for sharing a full continuum of communication options
Improve loss to follow up rates
Improve the gap between diagnosis to intervention
Ability to connect parents to other parents
Guides will be embedded in the rural areas to identify holes where we need to locate resources for families
What are Families Saying that Supports the need for the GBYS Program:
Parents are begging for timely information – Guides will be available for families immediately after diagnosis.
Parents are being “bogged down” with biased information – All parent guides will be trained through Supporting Families Without Bias.
Parents are reporting feeling overwhelmed – Parent Guides will assist parents with developing the skills they need to feel empowered and confident.
Parents are reporting that their Audiology appointments are feeling rushed – GBYS will utilize the Regional Consultants through the EHDI program for help in supporting the family’s additional Audiology questions. Guides will also work with the families to train them on how to prepare for a visit and how to better work the professionals that are now in their child’s life.
For more information about Guide By Your Side or to refer a family, please contact Lisa Condes Guide By Your Side™ Program Coordinator at: 317-233-7686, 888-815-0006, or Email: email@example.com.
Indiana state department of health ehdi staff & regional consultants
Interim EHDI Program Director Suzanne Foley, M.S. Phone: (317) 573-4445 Cell: (317) 339-1328 Fax: (317) 577-7330 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org