A local nonprofit is creating connections, helping kids find their deaf or hard-of-hearing identity

Texas Hands & Voices offers families resources, support through Guide By Your Side program

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SAN ANTONIO – You only want what’s best for your family, so when you learn that your child has been identified as deaf or hard of hearing, what steps do you take next?

“When kids are identified as deaf or hard of hearing, parents are sometimes left feeling alone and fearful. They have a lot to learn about the journey of raising a deaf or hard of hearing child,” said Michaela Hamaker, Texas Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side program coordinator.

Searching the internet or talking to medical providers are a couple of go-to options when parents or caregivers begin looking for resources, but Michaela said she hopes one of the resources found or shared is the nonprofit’s Guide By Your Side program.

The Guide By Your Side program is made up of specially trained parents of children who have some level of hearing loss. The services and support offered by the guides are free and can be requested in English or Spanish.

These “guides” work with families and guardians who recently learned of their child’s hearing condition and offer encouragement, support, and community.

“This journey doesn’t have to be scary, it may have twists and turns, but it’s also beautiful. When families are overwhelmed with what to do next, we can help all of those options be more clear and less overwhelming,” Michaela said.

Family-centered events and activities are already lined up for the 2023 season, which also includes the Lunch and Learn Series offered to parents, professionals and deaf or hard of hearing adults.

For more information about upcoming events or to learn more about the Guide By Your Side Program, visit Texas Hands & Voices.

Texas Hands & Voices is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them.

Texas Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our outreach activities, parent/professional/community collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children to reach their highest potential. Our board and staff include parents, professionals, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adults from all across Texas.

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About the Author:

Stephanie Leonard is the Special Events Coordinator for KSAT Community. She enjoys writing and producing video and digital content.