By Lisa Crawford. Texas Hands & Voices Co-Founder
Abstract: Learn about Texas Hands & Voices, a new chapter of the national organization which is dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing with information and resources so they can make the best choices for their child.
Keywords: Family Wisdom, hearing impaired, deaf, family support organizations
Since May of 2007 a handful of parents and professionals have been working towards establishing an official Texas chapter of Hands & Voices, a non-profit national organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf/hard of hearing with information and resources so they can make the best choices for their child. Hands & Voices is non-biased about communication modes or methodologies, and we believe that given good information and support, families can make the choice that is right for their child. We are parent-led but open our organization to professionals who are interested in a family/child-focused approach to service delivery. Our motto is “What works for your child is what makes the choice right.”
In the last 18 months we have succeeded in creating a Texas chapter website and have worked towards expanding our network of parents and professionals across the state. We are actively involved in a state effort to improve newborn hearing screening procedures and follow-up and have also been asked to provide a parent perspective to a state-wide collaborative group examining Deaf Education in Texas. Over the summer we worked with DARS/ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) to increase awareness about resources for parents related to hearing loss.
We strive to help parents become knowledgeable about their child’s educational needs and legal rights and hope to continue to grow and provide training and support to parents across the state.
As this is being written, we have a Hands & Voices event planned in Grapevine, TX on November. 15th. Families in the DFW area will socialize with other families and learn about self-advocacy skills that can help their children be successful. Check our website for more information on future events.
The national Hands & Voices website, ,is full of great articles and information about many topics related to hearing loss. The Texas website, , is geared toward providing information specific to Texas. Please visit our website and consider becoming a member. Your support helps us continue our efforts and, with your membership, you will receive the quarterly national publication, The Communicator.
If you are interested in getting our Texas Chapter quarterly newsletters via email, please go to our website at www.txhandsandvoices.org and submit an email request with your contact information and your area of interest.