March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


3/15/2016  |   11:00 AM - 11:30 AM   |  Topical Session 5   |  Tiki Pavilion   |  7 - Family Perspectives and Support

We Are Hands & Voices

Hands & Voices (H&V) is a parent-driven organization that supports families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH) without a bias around communication modes or methodology. We envision a world where children who are D/HH have every opportunity to achieve their full potential. We believe that families can make the best choices for their child if they have access to good information and supports. H&V Chapters all around the world every day provide emotional support, ensure families are connected with local supports/services timely and model skills and strategies learned while on their path to raising children who are D/HH. In addition many chapters also provide family to family support to EHDI Programs across the US and its territories. H&V chapters not only provide support for families that have children already identified with a hearing loss but also support EHDI programs in ensuring children who do not pass their initial screening proceed along the path to diagnosis, enrollment to Early Intervention and participation in family to family support. We help empower both parents and professionals to become effective advocates for children who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing; information, a cutting-edge quarterly newspaper, website, technical assistance, parent-to-parent networks, and much more. We are driven to create better educational and social outcomes and an enhanced quality of life for our children. This session will outline the history of H&V, discuss the importance of providing trusted resources to families and professionals as well as how H&V Headquarters trains leaders to provide this support one on one as well as in support of EHDI programs.

  • define the foundational values of Hands & Voices and the importance of providing a trusted resource for family to family support.
  • describe the three main areas where H&V provides support to families.
  • recognize the ways in which H&V Chapters can support EHDI programs in ensuring children who do not pass their initial screening proceed along the path to diagnosis, enrollment to Early Intervention and participation in family to family support.

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Handout is not Available

CART transcripts are NOT YET available, but will be posted shortly after the conference


Vicki Hunting (Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter), Hands & Voices, vicki.hunting@handsandvoices.org;
Vicki Hunting lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband Mark and two daughters; the youngest a young adult with a profound hearing loss. She has worked in project management, process re-engineering and quality/process improvement for over 18 years. In her more recent experience she is a Quality and Operational Improvement Engineer at the University of Iowa, Division of Child and Community Health and trains others on quality improvement approaches to improve systems of care for Iowa's children and youth with special healthcare needs. She has experience using the Model for Improvement as a framework for quality improvement projects; testing, implementing and spreading changes. Using data for improvement, developing and interpreting run charts and control charts, utilization of Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle to test changes are also part of her experiences. Vicki is on staff at H&V HQ and has been involved in the Iowa H&V Chapter for over 11 years.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Deshonda Washington (Co-Presenter), Georgia Hands & Voices, deshonda@gahandsandvoices.org;
Deshonda Washington is the Executive Director of GA Hands & Voices (H&V) and Parent Guide for GA H&V Guide By Your Side. Having a child with a hearing loss has prepared her for a lifelong journey of advocating for the needs of her daughter, Lauren. She is passionate about supporting Deaf/Hard of Hearing families across the state of Georgia. Deshonda has been trained as an educational advocate through the H&V Advocacy Support and Training (ASTra) program; she participates on the H&V HQ ASTra approval committee and has presented these supports around our state. Her ultimate goal is to empower parents of children with disabilities and ensure our D/HH children reach their highest potential. Deshonda is married with three children Ashanti, Lauren and Lorenzo Jr. and resides in Marietta, GA. She truly believes in the H&V motto, “What works for the child is what makes the choice right.”


Financial -

Nonfinancial -