By Leeanne Seaver

If you or your child/student talk or sign... if you talk and sign, or cue, or care, we need you. If you are directly, indirectly, or potentially involved with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, we need you. We need to be united by our hands and our voices . We are parents, professionals, adult mentors, consumers, and others who are in so many ways connected to a cause and to each other through the community of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. We are card-carrying members of the National Association of the Deaf, the Alexander Graham Bell Society, the American Society for Deaf Children, and Auditory Verbal International. We are Hands & Voices.

If you're sensing a theme of solidarity amongst all the diverse perspectives that make up the fragmented and often fractious group we're calling a Community, then you're reading this right. Hands & Voices is a non-profit organization that supports the right for families to choose the communication mode or method that best matches that child's needs in light of the family's values, lifestyle, goals for their child, and the child's own inclinations and abilities. We are not sponsored by a service provider nor organizationally biased towards one form of communication over another. Rather, we rally around the things that unite us as a community: the right to an excellent education, and to full communication access in the world for our kids.

Hands & Voices provides information, training, advocacy support, parent-to-parent networking, a quarterly newspaper, The Communicator, website, special events and other activities designed to provide families with the information they need to make good choices for their children. Our organization is parent-driven, but highly collaborative with professionals and consumers who are represented on our Board of Directors, and advisory board, and make up approximately one third of our membership. We work at both the local and national levels. Our chapters provide local and regional support consistent with the Hands & Voices non-biased philosophy and mission. In addition to family support, we strive to be meaningfully involved at the systems development level in each state where we have chapters and members. 

Whether we're at work locally or nationally, Hands & Voices continues to be driven by the need to improve the educational outcomes and quality of life for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and we strive for maximum exposure of our message.

To become a member of Hands & Voices you can join our efforts by subscribing via directions provided on our website by clicking here.