Mission: Texas Hands & Voices (TX H&V) offers support, information and resources in an unbiased manner to families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Our outreach activities, parent/professional/community collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children to reach their highest potential.
Results: Our Guide By Your Side program offers direct Parent to Parent support and direct support from Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults to parents. 120 matches to date in this fiscal year. Webinars for families and professionals on the importance of family involvement in the education of a Deaf/HH child's life. Monthly FB chat with topics affecting our families and a FB page dedicated to the Hispanic families of Texas. Parent support events across Texas. Co-host Family Weekend Retreat with ERCOD and TSBVI Partnering with DSHS TEHDI program to reduce loss to follow up rates for Texas newborns who refer on their newborn hearing screening. Over 2000 families reached. Second annual ASTra training to 40 Level 1 attendees
Target demographics: families of children birth to 21 who are deaf or hard of hearing
Direct beneficiaries per year: (FY 16-17) 99 families matched with Guides through our GBYS program and hosted over 20 family events in seven geographic areas with a total of over 660 attendees and reached over 1200 families and professionals in our eNews contact database. Our FTGs have reached 2000 families to assist with reaching the "next steps" in their child's hearing screening.
Geographic areas served: Texas
Programs: We offer unbiased support to families through networking, resource sharing, a website & Facebook pages, parent & professional trainings, newsletters, social events and workshops. Our parent to parent support program Guide By Your Side TM, matches specially trained “Guides” to work directly with families in need of the unique support that comes from someone else who has walked the path him/herself and can share from direct experience and wisdom. Enrolling in the Guide By Your Side TM program is easy, confidential and free of charge. Additionally our Follow Through Guide program works to support families who have recently been referred for additional hearing screening through direct parent to parent contact. Our new ASTra program offers trainings on D/HH issues in educational advocacy in the Hands & Voices context: a commitment to unbiased support of families regardless of language and communication approaches used by their children and across the full continuum of educational placement options, so that every child who is D/HH has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. ASTra content is derived from years of direct advocacy experience working with families in schools, attending advocacy trainings from legal experts, providing trainings, and the Hands & Voices Educational Advocacy Guidebook. Fall of 2017 we will begin matching families with ASTra Advocates to help with advocacy resources, support, and in some cases, attend an IEP meeting with the family.