by Rosabel Agbayani

Member of California Hands & Voices

I have always been attracted to the caring, compassionate, and purposeful work of health services. I spent 5 years working as an Administrative Medical Assistant in and worked in Healthcare Administration for several years with a focus on Patient Relations and Quality Improvement. Working with physicians and specialists providing health and human services, I thought I knew all there was to know about caring for people and helping families.

However, on September 30, 2010 my family received a diagnosis that would change the course of our lives. Our healthy and active 3½ year-old son Michael was diagnosed with Pre-lingual Moderate-Severe Bilateral Conductive Hearing Loss.

by Dakota Ronco

If you asked me whether being mainstreamed with interpreters or attending to a residential school for the deaf was better, I would not have an answer. My experiences shaped me into who I am. If I had graduated from a public high school, I would have not grown as much socially, nor would I have had opportunities to be thoroughly involved with my school. On the other hand, if I had grown up in a residential school for the deaf, I would not have learned how to adapt to various situations, how to stand up for myself, and how to ensure that I got what I needed to be successful.

By Cindy Sandoval

California Hands & Voices

My husband and I live in a rural northern California town with our two sons, Jordan and Chrystian. In 2009, at the age of 13, Jordan asked to enroll at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont. Even though the idea of being apart from him tore our hearts, we put our emotions aside as his parents and focused solely on the needs of our son. We followed his lead.

by Anonymous

Having confines set on you by other people is incredibly frustrating, especially when you and those close to you understand that you are completely capable of anything but hearing like everyone else. Anyone who has grown up deaf or hard-of-hearing understands exactly what I mean. It is also frustrating when, after years of learning to accept that it is okay to ask for help and accommodations, you are rejected.

by by Jeff Whittington

California Hands & Voices Supporter

As cliché as it sounds, life really is full of some amazing and powerful lessons. We never know what obstacles lie around each corner or how we will be shaped though the management of each of these challenges, but through all of them, a part of us is often fundamentally changed. For both my wife and me, it all began when our son Ryland was diagnosed as deaf.

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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Contact Us


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


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