#TogetherThursday is a weekly resource blog that was created by CA Hands & Voices Advisory Board Member Leslie Manjarrez out of the early shelter in place period.
This blog is tailored to highlight free resources and topics to parents of Deaf/Hard of Hearing children through videos, articles, links to further reading, activities and more. #TogetherThursday has grown to feature monthly themes that have included Deaf Awareness, School Readiness, Deaf LGBTQ+, and Seasonal DHH supports.

Please reach out to suggest future topics, resources and individuals to feature! Contact us: IG/FB or email.

Ms. Leslie looks forward to hearing from you!


Hands & Voices is here to support you and your family as we continue moving through Winter and moving into school break! #TogetherThursday this week and last week were about keeping busy during school breaks, although there is also another message this week. :)

At the end of this year, and really every calendar year around the world, there is a lot of pressure for reflection, for setting new goals, for coming into the new year “stronger”, “better”.

If that is what you are doing for you family, I wish you a wonderful start to your year. If that isn’t what you are doing for your family, I also wish you a wonderful start to your year.

Something I share with families often, and I remind myself as much as I can, especially in 2020: “No Regrets”

Whatever you did this year to get through it, through distance learning, through social distancing, through telehealth visits, through long phone conversations and Zoom calls, doomscrolling and all the emotional ups and downs. Live with your family with no regrets. 

Maybe this time next year your journey with your child will look completely different Maybe next year the IEP will decide something that radically changes educational outcomes for your child. Maybe next year everything will be totally different.

That doesn’t mean what you did or are doing now is not, in fact completely right, valid and the right choice for you and your family. That right now, the choices you are making, the choices you made six months ago for activities, communication and school were wrong, its that everything can change, on a dime and 2020 showed us that.

As we move into the last few days of Winter Break, I’ll leave you with a fun reflection activity I used to do in the classroom that you can do with any age, or you can do yourself(I definitely did it for myself):

I called it “6 things I learned this year”: Fold a single sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper hot dog style, then into thirds. When you unfold it you will have six squares. Using a pencil, pen or any writing/art instrument, in each square write a sentence or word about something you learned this year and draw a picture. 

I made mine digitally for you this year. Hope to see yours if you’re willing to share <3

Happy New year,

Together We Can,

Ms. Leslie

[Image description: Gold and Black text on a white background that reads “Wishing you a Sparkling and Happy 2021” with a sparkler image to the left side]

Hands & Voices is here to support you and your family as we continue moving through Winter and moving into school break! #TogetherThursday this week and next week will be about keeping busy during school breaks! There are lots of activities that you can do at home during this break to keep busy and to support your DHH child.

Baking at any age can teach a variety of skills:

  • Infants and Toddlers can learn about texture, capacity and pouring, how many of each ingredient, example here from “Early Math Project”- Link
  • Elementary Age children can learn about following directions, step by step instructions and reading ingredients, one great example is “The Peanut Butter Sandwich Lesson”, found here: Link 

There are lots of funny videos on this one!

  • Pre-teens and teens can learn about measuring with metric measurements, conversions, fractions, adding subtracting, multiplying recipes, this is an example, but any recipes you have at home will work- Link

What’s your family’s favorite recipe to make during the holiday season? Share below :)

Together we can,

Ms. Leslie

Hands & Voices is here to support you and your family as we continue moving through Winter and moving into celebrations! #TogetherThursday this week is about Winter Traditions and the Narratives we discuss with our children.

Information and traditions often get “passed down” through families. What kinds of stories are you building with your family and with your DHH child? What kinds of stories do you want to build and include? How will these be communicated?

Thinking about your own Winter Experiences and also thinking about what others may celebrate are big parenting conversations.

  • Here is a list of common Winter Celebrations, Happy Holidays to all families who celebrate: Link
  • Here is a list of more uncommon Winter Celebrations, Happy Holidays to all families who celebrate: Link

Really I think whats entwined with many of the traditions are the “magic” of winter and celebrations. Thus, when we have our DHH children, what happens to that magic as they grow up?

  • Here is a great piece from NPR that discusses just that: Link
  • There is also many of these stories where families have chosen to retake the narrative around “Santa” or other “magical” moments and support good deeds: Link

What’s your family’s story and how will you share with your child this season? Share below :)

Together we can,

Ms. Leslie

Hands & Voices is here to support you and your family as we move into Winter!! #TogetherThursday this week is highlighting winter wear and winter access!!

Winter wonderlands are here and everywhere, with cold fronts everywhere how do we keep our kiddos warm and also able to access the world around them?

For younger friends there is a variety of winter wear to consider from pilot caps to adjusting knit caps to fit hearing aids and CIs! You can adjust regular caps and knit ones to fit. Here is a forum on Reddit that discusses patterns for hearing aids: https://www.reddit.com/r/knitting/comments/2lbhhz/help_please_hats_for_hearing_aids/

And here are some recommendations for how to figure out regular hats: https://rsparentinfant.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/audiology-corner-what-about-hats/#:~:text=Here%20are%20some%20tips!,knock%20off%20the%20magnet%20underneath.

There are also some options on Etsy.

For everyone here are some great tips: https://hearandnow.cochlearamericas.com/cochlear/family/winter-wear-tips-for-those-with-hearing-loss/

In addition for those who communicate using ASL, consider options for keeping hands warm, hydrated, and ready to sign in the winter months: https://www.dove.com/us/en/baby/more-from-baby-dove/baby-care-tips/winter-care-for-baby-skin.html

While these tips are for infants, I think these tips are great for any age, including myself :)

Consider warm gloves that have fingers instead of mittens to allow for signing and homemade handwarmers that are reusable with rice and an old fluffy shirt! https://happiestcamper.com/diy-reusable-hand-warmers/

What are your family winter hacks? Lets all stay warm this winter with full access while we play in the crisp cold air :)

Together we can,

Ms. Leslie





[Image description: small snowflakes in the colors light pink, light blue and white surrounding the words “Hello Winter” in the center of the image. The word Winter is underline with two curved lines]

This week there is no informational post for #TogetherThursday

I hope that you and your loved ones were together however you could be and that you were able to honor those that may not be with you during this time for any reason.

Also I hope that we also remember what this day may mean for others who identify differently than us and that we honor their families, thoughts and feelings too.

For those on our page who do not celebrate today or have thoughts or feelings, may your day have been filled with good memories and good moments anyway as everyday is a chance to be grateful for all that we have, together.

We Can, Together,

Ms. Leslie 

[image description: the word "Grateful" written in black script in the shape of a heart]