December 2012 Newsletter

Dear Hands & Voices Family,As I mentioned in the last newsletter this month we are focusing on modes of communication.

This issue means so much to me as it will give parents more information and hopefully some knowledge that will help in some of the decision-making you have. Even if you have been in the process for a long time and are on an established path, I think you will still find some valuable information.

The thing to remember when it comes to choosing a mode of communication is to ask yourself what outcomes you want for your child. Do you want your child to be oral, but maybe have access to deaf adults? What will work best for your child to have access to language and give him/her the ability to connect with you and his/her community.

This month I am setting all eloquence aside as there are a few things I want you to keep in mind as you read through this.

1. When talking outcomes, each child is different. If the mode of communication you have chosen isn’t working, then change it! You know your child the best; go with your instincts and what you want.

2. It is okay to ask your Early Intervention provider/service provider what their qualifications are in working with deaf/hard of hearing child. They have not all had the opportunity to work with deaf/hard of hearing children or children using hearing aids or cochlear implants.

3. If you disagree with the direction of your services, it’s okay to have a conversation with your provider. They want to do best by you and your child.

4. Not sure what to do? Talk to you Parent Guide. Your Guide will help you through the IFSP/IEP process, any questions you have about your child’s process or talk to you about your educational and communication options.

There is a lot of research that will support anything. These articles are written by the best local and national professionals who are current in deaf education. According to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank  (MFRB) I actually have something right! Their study shows a return on investment in early education of 8:1. That means for every dollar invested in early education, the government saves $8! This translates to less money spent on our children in school, unemployment and food stamps. Translation: quality resources and training should be put into early intervention and early childhood special education.

On a very different note… as you know Hands & Voices works with families across the state from birth to 21. We provide ongoing training to our Board of Directors and Parent Guides to maintain a strong organizational foundation and qualified staff to work with the families.

I know that many of you look at different organizations to support during the holiday season. I hope you will consider Hands & Voices in your spirit of giving! $10 per month or a one time contribution would go a long way in allowing us to continue providing quality support to all of our families statewide. Does your company match your donation?! That’s a great way to double your efforts! Please go to to make a contribution. A letter will be sent to you for tax purposes.

Hands & Voices of Oregon has had an amazing year and we have you to thank for it! We have been featured in the community via radio, internet and publications. We were able to serve 79 new families while still serving over 100 families from the previous year. Next year we will take our parent education to a new level through webinars and our 2nd statewide conference which will be on October 5, 2013.

Until then, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Warm regards,