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 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.


GBYSwebKey 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 Kovacs GUIDE BY YOUR SIDETM Program Coordinator at: 317-233-7686, 888-815-0006, or Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Hands & Voices Indiana Chapter

Gary Swaim
Vice President
Guide By Your Side Coordinator
Lisa Condes

Adam Gersak & Jamie Kerkhof
Sarah Kiefer

Indiana Hands & Voices Staff Member
Lisa Kovacs

Reagan Dixon Katie Franssen Shireen Hafeez
Kelli Link Wendy Schmitzer-Torbert Scott Condes

Indiana Hands & Voices is a safe place for us to go where we feel supported in our journey.