Washington DC Skyline at night

2019 Hands & Voices
Leadership Conference

Every Child, Every Family, Every Leader

Washington D.C.
September 20-22, 2019

A Conference for H&V Chapter Leaders, H&V GBYS and ASTra Programs, Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and the Professionals Who Work with Us!

The Hands & Voices Leadership Conference brings together family leaders from all over the world to develop skills and receive training on how to provide leadership to others and affect systemic change where they live. It is the only conference of its kind devoted exclusively to train family members, with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, to be effective agents of change.

This conference is an excellent time to network and learn. Please help us spread the word so that as we get as many individuals as possible—extend an invitation to a favorite teacher, your EHDI Coordinator, an important school administrator or families with children who are deaf/hard of hearing.

If you are not involved in specific activities for Hands & Voices, this is still a fantastic conference containing up-to-date information, fascinating conversations, and exploration of content in a new and exciting way.  Please join us!

- CLICK HERE to Register -

- Conference Agenda / Event Schedule -


The H&V Leadership Conference


  $425 - Full conference
  $275 - Saturday Only
  $275 - Student

The Leadership Conference runs Friday Evening to Sunday, September 20-22

** Housing is NOT Included


Friday 6 to 9pm

(light meal and mixer)

Saturday 7:00 – 4:30 pm

(includes continental breakfast and lunch)

Sunday 7:30 – 12:30 pm

(includes breakfast)

CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY: Refunds will be made to those registrants who must cancel, less a $75 processing fee. Written cancellation requests must be postmarked on or before August 16, 2019. No refunds will be made after that date. Substitutions are welcome at no charge.

H&V Leaders Meetings
(Registration Required)


8:30am-11:30am on Friday, Sept 20th.

FREE - Must Pre-register

Chapter leaders and GBYS Program Coordinators are highly encouraged to attend. The concurrent meetings are intended for Hands & Voices Chapter Leaders (Authorized, Provisional and recognized Start-ups) and GBYS Program Coordinators ONLY and you MUST pre-register to participate.

This year GBYS Guides are invited to attend the GBYS Program Coordinator Meeting from 9:45am -11:30am.

GBYS Program Coordinators Meeting

8:30am -11:30am

GBYS Guides join from 9:45am-11:30am

This session is an annual meeting and training for the GBYS Program Coordinators. During this session we will discuss how we plan to enhance GBYS programming. This session will be sure to provide ongoing training as well as allow for an opportunity for the Program Coordinators to get to know one another.
Presenter: Lisa Kovacs

H&V Chapter Management Meeting

8:30am – 11:30am

(for Executive Directors, Presidents and/or designated leader) This session is an annual meeting and training for Chapter Parent Leadership in Authorized and Provisional Chapters, as well as Chapter Start-up efforts. We will explore the elements necessary to build your leadership and own capacity to support your fellow Chapter leadership, your membership and create sustainability.
Presenters: Terri Patterson; Janet DesGeorges


1-4pm on Friday, September 20


*Select only one of the three pre-session topics below

Pre-session – 1

Family Camps and Conferences: A How-to Guide for Creating Fun Learning Events

The success of a family camps and conference begins with a passionate and dedicated committee and group of volunteers. The structure of these events provides the opportunity for families to connect and learn from each other. It is an opportunity for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children to build their self-esteem and become more engaged within their community. While hosting a successful family camp or conference provides important benefits to families, it can be a challenge. Learn about creating a motivated committee, creating policies, and providing a safe and enriching experience for attendees.

Presenters: Louise Rollins, Cora Shahid, Yiesell Rayon, Lisa Condes, Joanna Sichts

Pre-session – 2

It’s a Learning Curve: Parents as Adult Learners and Leaders

Within the context of parent-to-parent support there are adult learning theories that underpin a parent’s journey of life-long learning. Adult learning theory can be one of the most valuable aspects in understanding the processes of how adults learn, and more specifically how parents of children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing transform their knowing into making a difference for others. Through the lens of adult learning this session will highlight how to utilize adult learning theory in the practice of supporting others throughout the 3 leveled continuum of parent leadership ("parent-led", "parent-to-parent", and parent participation through advocacy). This session will engage participants through hands on activities and interactive dialogue

Presenters: Christine Griffin, Najwa Ghattas, Brandi Drogorub

Pre-session – 3

Facilitative Workshops for IEPs

This hands-on skills workshop teaches practical facilitation skills applicable to IEP meetings for parents, educators, facilitators, and educational advocates. The workshop layout is introducing a theory or skill, demonstrating how to use it, and then giving the participants a chance to actively practice. Participants will learn a toolbox of skills to increase productivity at meetings, resolve conflict, and improve outcomes. The goal is to develop facilitative skills, rather than teach IEP legal content. Topics explored are: - Gaining trust - Organizing productive meetings - The science of facilitation - Identifying positions vs. Interest - Strategic Questions - Active Listening - Emotions

Presenter: Liesel Thomas

1-3pm & 4-5pm
Friday, Sept. 20th


Pre-session 4 - FREE

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Hands & Voices NEW Leaders Training

Chapter leaders AND new GBYS/ASTra Coordinators- new in position within 1-2 years) - This session will provide new H&V leaders with the opportunity to share with others in similar positions some of the challenges and successes they have experienced as a new H & V leader. Hands on technical assistance, resources, and supports will be provided by Hands & Voices HQ staff during this session. Bring your questions, ideas and energy!

Pre-session 5- FREE


First Time H&V Leadership Conference Attendee Gathering

If this is your first time attending the Hands & Voices Leadership Conference, this is a session you don’t want to miss. This will be a fun and interactive session to welcome you to the Leadership Conference and share with you some tips to make the most out of your conference experience.

Pre-session 6- FREE


D/HH Guides, Mentors and Role Models: A Round Table Discussion

Join us for a round table discussion as we learn from established H&V Guide, Role Model and Mentor programs. If you are with a chapter or a state that is in the process of looking at another way of supporting families, come and ask questions. The FL3 DHH Guidelines, other resources, and information from recent surveys will be shared. Let's meet and share the wisdom among us.

Presenters: Stephanie Olson, Karen Putz

Post-Conference Sessions!

Minimum of 10 participants



2-6pm on Sunday, September 22,

Select only one of the two post-session topics below

Post-session – 1

$99 - Limit of 20 participants *** SOLD OUT ***

Hands & Voices Train–the–Trainer “Sharpening our skills to train others”

Hands & Voices Train–the –Trainer “Sharpening our skills to train others” is a session for Hands & Voices Leaders who are in a position of training others. This may include a Hands & Voices board member, GBYS Coordinator, ASTra Advocate, etc. Participants in this session will learn about adult learning theory, how to find balance between lecture and interactivity, how to apply story-telling, managing participants, and overcoming training challenges. If you are a Hands &Voices leader who is interested in presenting and training others, this session is for you!

Presenters: Lisa Kovacs and other HQ Staff

Post-session – 2


Grant Writing Workshop

The Directors of Speech and Hearing Programs in State Health and Welfare Agencies (DSHPSHWA) are hosting an instructional workshop designed to improve grant-writing skills. The target audience is members of groups that are interested in receiving sub-grantee funding from state EHDI programs or other grant funding to support the EHDI 1-3-6 goals and EHDI family support activities.

  • Identify components of an EHDI-related grant application
  • Identify strategies to create a high-scoring application
  • Complete activities to develop skills in preparing grant application components

Trainers:  Marcia Fort, Au.D., CCC-A,  Linda A. Hazard Ed.D., CCC-A


Hotel Information:

Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University
Perfectly located in the center of the nation’s capital on the campus of Gallaudet University, Kellogg Conference Hotel is surrounded by a myriad of beautiful architecture, pleasurable dining, and mini getaways for anyone who wants to unwind, or take in the sites, bites, and sounds of our nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

To Register for Hotel Accommodations –

Hands and Voices - Guest Rooms Booking Link

Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002-3695

Travel Information:

Perfectly located in the center of the nation’s capital on the campus of Gallaudet University, Kellogg Conference Hotel is surrounded by a myriad of beautiful architecture and pleasurable dining.
Three possible airports to consider for your travel to the 2019 Leadership Conference:

  1. DCA – Ronald Reagan National Airport (in DC)
  2. BWI – Baltimore Washington International (in MD)
  3. IAD— Washington Dulles (in northern VA)

DCA is the most convenient/straightforward as far as transportation from the airport to the hotel. You may want to compare prices into the three airports with the following ground transportation information in mind.

Ground Transportation

Washington DC Super Shuttle
Washington DC Metro Area Transit
Taxi estimates for airports to hotel (depending on traffic): DCA $25 up to $58; BWI $76 up to $87; IAD $71 up to $90. (These were pulled from
Local contacts suggest they may be on the low side). Uber or Lyft offer lower rate options.