The Power of Parent-to-Parent Support
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 to other parents sooner!
What the GBYS Program can do for parents
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.
We didn’t even know what to ask the parent guide, but she touched on questions we hadn’t dared ask ourselves yet. It was such a relief to know that we were not alone; and that our baby was going to be not just okay, but could have a terrific, fulfilling life.” – parents in Aurora
Parent-to-Parent Networking: Our parent guides can connect you to
- Connection 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
- Advocacy for families, 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.
Through the support of generous donors and businesses, services from the GBYS program are free. Reach out to us anytime from the time you learn your child has a hearing loss through age 21. Colorado Hands & Voices members, however, have priority in IEP development assistance, and reduced fees to Hands & Voices events. To become a Colorado Hands & Voices member, please go to: http://www.cohandsandvoices.org/newsite/about/become-hv/
Contact Information for the GBYS Program
Guide By Your Side Coordinator:
Denver/Metro Area – click for details…
Northeast Region – click for details…
Pikes Peak Region – click for details...
Western Slope – click for details…
Statewide Guides – click for details …
Statewide Guides Include:
- CSDB Family Involvement Coordinator (a guide who has a child on campus)
- Statewide Unilateral Hearing Loss Parent Guide
- Statewide Spanish Speaking Parent Guide
- Pilot Partner Project: Connection to Deaf/Hard of hearing Partners