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California Hands & Voices is pleased to announce that it is a Hands & Voices Advocacy Support & Training or ASTra program Chapter. Our Chapter Advocates have received specialized training geared toward advocating for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children. The ASTra Educational Advocacy Program is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing educational advocacy program that embodies the mission and vision of Hands & Voices. ASTra stands for Advocacy, Support, and Training. ASTra content is derived from years of direct advocacy experience working with families in schools, attending advocacy training sessions from legal experts, and the Hands & Voices Educational Advocacy Guidebook (©2013).

Many families struggle in their attempts to improve educational programs for their children, and the support they find is usually not experienced with the unique issues facing Deaf or Hard of Hearing kids. The Hands & Voices ASTra website can provide educational advocacy support to families (and professionals) who have questions about special education law and its applicability to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Please visit the Hands & Voices Headquarters ASTra page for some hands on resources and contact us today if you have any question! We want to assist families in helping their children reach their highest potential.

The Hands & Voices ASTra Program is designed to empower parents, promote self-advocacy of students, and build collaboration between families and schools.

If you would like more information about ASTra services, please contact us today! California Hands & Voices ASTra Coordinators, Cora Shahid & Kat Lowrance at

Group ASTra Training

This is a One Day/ 8 hour class for parents, professionals and community members to increase knowledge and skills to advocate for their own child, and/or students they work with.

ASTra Flyer

Previous Trainings:

Saturday, February 4, 2023
7:30 – 4:30pm
Radys Children’s Hospital

7960 Birmingham Drive .
San Diego, CA 92123

Click here to register.

Click to Download PDF

If you are interested in bringing this workshop to your region, please contact us. We would love to make it happen.

Individualized ASTra Support

Request an ASTra Advocate to provide you with advocacy resources, support, and IEP preparation by completing the Get Help form.

You will need to sign and return the ASTra Release of Liability document before services can be initiated. You can upload it within the form or check your confirmation email for email/fax/mail options.

If you have these documents on hand, you can upload them as well:

Educational Advocacy for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Guidebook

Advocacy Tools

Purchase the Hands & Voices Guidebook.

Some documents and links referenced in the Hands & Voices Advocacy Guidebook can be found on the Hands & Voices HQ ASTra page.

CA Communication Plan Worksheet

Meet our Advocates!

ASTra team
(standing): Kat Lowrance, Tony Ronco, Cora Shahid, Pam Wirht, Kasey Cain, Brittany Comegna, Catalina Partida, Marissa Weiss, Rhona Savage, Leslie Manjarrez,
(seated): Nancy Grosz Sager, Johanna Wonderly, Patricia Gomez

Here’s what people are saying about ASTra

ASTra Testimonials