My Life is Changing
Before My Eyes

By Janet DesGeorges

As my daughter Sara headed back to high school this Fall, we met with all her general ed. teachers the day before school started. We have done this over the years to bridge the gap between an IEP meeting in the Spring, and the hands-on practical, 'how is this going to work?' application of the school day.

As Sara and I walked through the door where her seven teachers were waiting for us, Sara sat down and proceeded to run the meeting. She explained her FM system, how to utilize interpreting services, how she would like to be introduced to the class, what her degree of hearing loss is, how it affects her in the classroom etc. I sat back in my chair, and realized, "This girl is ready to make it out in the real world."

As parents we must learn to be effective advocates for our children throughout their education, and we sometimes forget that someone is watching..our very own child! What a moment it was for me to see that the 'torch has been passed' and my daughter has become an effective advocate, knows what she wants, and has the knowledge and information to make it happen.

My daughter has learned her advocacy skills from her father and I. We learned them from other parents and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing. At Hands & Voices, every time we link a family with support to other parents and deaf/hh role models, we are ultimately improving the lives of the children they represent. This is one of the driving forces of the Hands & Voices Guide by Your Side Program™ (GBYS™).

See GBYS™ under Programs on our web site

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