by Melissa Smith, Ed.D.Professor of ASL-English Translation and Interpreting Studies

Perhaps you have a child who is Deaf or hard of hearing. Even if you know a lot about the Deaf community, there are a myriad of complex factors involved in making sure your child is surrounded by rich language opportunities. Maybe your child is mainstreamed in a classroom with an interpreter for part of the school day. If so, or if you care about the educational access provided through interpreters, please continue reading!

By Kristen Stratton, California Hands & Voices

Even with my own hearing loss, I am still working on feeling worthy enough to use an interpreter. For my son, I don’t feel the need to justify any of his access needs.
~The Stratton Trio

I have spent a lifetime trying to figure out where I fit in as a hard of hearing person in a hearing world. I grew up in a family with a strong history of hearing loss but without the richness of language or culture; that seemed reserved for only those who were truly deaf. I didn’t know “Deaf” as compared to “deaf”. I didn’t know about the world beyond mine that had a full and complete language which was as beautiful as it was intricate and complex. I didn’t know anything until I became the mother of a Deaf child.

by Amanda Case

Case Family

It is hard to believe that it has been 6 1/2 years since we first received our daughter’s diagnosis of hearing loss. I still remember the fear that washed over me, suddenly feeling unequipped to be her mom. I had never known a Deaf person, I didn’t know ASL, what do we do next?

At age three, we had her fitted for her first hearing aid, enrolled her in the Special Education Preschool in our district, and met with an ENT and geneticist to see if we could see what was causing her hearing loss. Just as we were settling in to our “new normal,” we found out our daughter has Pendred Syndrome, which is characterized by progressive hearing loss and possible Goiter that presents in early adulthood.

by California Hands & Voices

California Hands & Voices proudly hosted an ASTra level 1 training on February 2nd 2019 in San Diego, California. There were a total of 95 parent and professionals in attendance from all regions of California. We also want to recognize and thank the Hands & Voices Military Project for attending from your home states. Stay tuned for future training opportunities in California.

Each attendee walked away empowered with a better understanding of the basic components of educational advocacy for children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and are now equipped to advocate for their child or the children they support.

by Nancy Grosz Sager

California Department of Education (retired Spring 2018)

This is actually a no-brainer to me. We all know that the # 1 predictor of whether or not ANY child does well academically, socially, and vocationally is PARENT INVOLVEMENT. For a child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing, strong parent involvement is even more important. And yet, young parents who have just learned that their beautiful little baby is Deaf or Hard of Hearing are uncertain about what to do, how to do it, and what is in store for them.

About CA Hands & Voices

California Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in a respectful and non-judgmental manner regarding language opportunities, communication tools or educational approaches. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.

Support ♥

California Hands & Voices is a non-profit organization that depends on the support of its members to succeed. Please consider donating or becoming a member.

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California Hands & Voices
c/o Cora Shahid
15274 Andorra Way
San Diego CA 92129


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