The Hands & Voices Advocacy, Support,
and Training (ASTra)Program
ASTra is a replicable Deaf and Hard of Hearing Educational Advocacy Program that embodies the mission and vision of Hands & Voices, which is to provide support to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) without a bias around communication mode, method, and educational setting so that every child who is D/HH has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. ASTra content is derived from years of direct advocacy experience working with families in schools, attending advocacy trainings from legal experts, providing trainings, and the Hands & Voices Educational Advocacy Guidebook (©2013).
ASTra can be implemented by a Hands & Voices Chapter independently or in collaboration with an agency or program partner. An agency or program partner can instigate the start-up of an ASTra Program only through the local Hands & Voices Chapter in accordance with the operational procedures of this program.
On this page are links to lots of resources and information about ASTra, including materials that are available by password-only access to Hands & Voices chapters who have an ASTra program or are in the start-up process.
Questions? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocacy Support & Training (ASTra) Webinar Series
Hands & Voices, as a leader in educational advocacy for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, is pleased to offer a Webinar Series for parents and professionals on cutting edge topics by presenters who are experts in the field of Deaf Education and Advocacy.
For more information about upcoming webinars and to register or view recorded past educational advocacy webinars, visit our Webinars webpage.
Hands & Voices Educational Advocacy Support to Families
Many families struggle in their attempts to improve educational programs for their children, and the support they find is usually not experienced with the unique issues facing deaf or hard of hearing kids. Hands & Voices is often asked to provide educational advocacy support to families (and professionals) who have questions about special education law and its applicability to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
In our H&V chapters, it's not at all uncommon to find an H&V trained advocate supporting a family who is struggling with their child's educational services and communication access. H&V chapters can provide families with advocacy resources, support, and in some cases, attend an IEP meeting with a family. If you would like to request support, complete the H&V Educational Advocacy Request Form.
View our chapter listings to see if this service is available in your area. While we're not attorneys, and we can't give legal advice, we do feel strongly that experienced parents can be great assets to other families new to educational advocacy.
Advocacy Tools and Products
The following documents and links are also referenced in the H&V Advocacy Guidebook and can be found here:
The Hands & Voices Guidebook
Educational Advocacy For Students
Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:
SECOND EDITION NOW AVAILABLE!! New chapter on Early Intervention 2023 Updated Legislative and Policy information
- Parental Rights Summary This brief summary is provided to help you, as a parent, understand your rights under both federal and state laws. This summary is not a replacement for your school district Parents’ Rights handout.
Download English version
Download Spanish version
Download Arabic version
- Hands & Voices Engaging in Your Child’s Education at Home - Now more than ever, parents need practical tips for supporting their child’s learning at home Download pdf
- Developmental Milestones – Understanding and Using Developmental Milestone Checklists https://handsandvoices.org/
- Socialization Skills for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children - Ways of approaching socialization and social skills training - A. Marwah Socialization Webinar - video
- Advocacy 101 - Learning to be your child's special education advocate. Hands & Voices Advocacy 101 Webinar - video
- Comparison of Pertinent Areas of IDEA, Part B, 504, & ADA* (Appendix C from Astra Guidebook pg 169)
- Ages and Stages of Self-Advocacy Infographic View Infographic
- D/HH Student Self-Advocacy Inventory *
- Functional Listening Evaluation
- General Provisions of IDEA Part C and B* (Appendix B from Astra Guidebook pg 163)
- IEP Meeting Planner*
- IEP/504 Checklist www.handsandvoices.org/pdf/IEP_Checklist.pdf
- IEP Communication Plans (samples)*
- Colorado http://www.co-hv.org/
- Pennsylvania https://www.pattan.net/
- Ohio https://ims.ocali.io/
- Florida (Under State Laws & Regulations) http://www.fldoe.org/
- Louisiana https://www.louisianabelieves.com/
- Michigan https://mdelio.org/
- IFSP Communication Plan
- Parent/Student Input Form - An Advocacy Tool - More Info...
- Preschool/Kindergarten Parent Placement Checklist for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: https://www.handsandvoices.org/pdf/parent_checklist.pdf
- Placement And Readiness Checklists (PARC)
- PARC Readiness Checklists
- PARC Placement Checklists
- P.E.I. “Parent Education Initiative” * Download PEI form as a printable pdf.
- Pop-Up IEP*
- Safety Attachment Plan www.handsandvoices.org/resources/
- Transition to Pre-School (Bridging to Pre-School Colorado Sample)* www.cohandsandvoices.org/docs/Bridge-Revised2012.pdf
- IDEA 2004 Key Regulations Pertaining to Audiology and Deaf Ed* http://www.handsandvoices.org/idea04regs/index.htm
- FAQ’s on Effective Communication for Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Education - Download the official FAQ's in pdf form
- US Department of Justice and US Department of Education Guidance Document – Meeting the Communication Needs of Students with Hearing, Vision, and Speech Disabilities
- GAP Planning (Phonak) - Phonak GAP Learning Guide
A Resource for Self-Advocacy Activities
For teens & young adults, teachers, hearing healthcare professionals and parents
- Common Assessments for D/HH Students - Download Common Assessments in PDf format
- Educational Plan Checklist for D/HH-Plus Students - Download Checklist in PDf format
- White Paper: Estimating the Level of Communication Effectiveness/Access www.successforkidswithhearingloss.com
- ADA Effective Communication Checklist A Discussion Guide for Implementing Effective Communication Practices
- Education Audiology Association (EAA) Shared and Suggested Roles of Educational Audiologist, Teachers of the Deaf, and Speech-Language Pathologists – Supports to be considered for each student who is deaf or hard of hearing
- National Association of Interpreters in Education – Professional Guidelines for Interpreting in Educational Settings.
National Association of Interpreters in Education – State Requirements for Educational Interpreters
Advocacy Tools and Products in Spanish
- Consejos Cortos de Abogacía para Padres de niños Sordos y Pérdida Auditiva (D/HH) ( Parent Advocacy Quick Tips for Parents of Children who are D/HH: A Short Video Series )
Padres de niños sordos y con perdida auditivas comparten su experiencia en utilizar las habilidades de abogacía para construir un sistema de apoyo sólido para el entorno educativo de sus hijos. (Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children share their experience of using advocacy skills towards building a strong support system for their child’s educational environment).
- Asegurar que los estudiantes aprendices del inglés participen de forma significativa y equitativa en programas educativos.
How to ensure that English Language Learning Students participate in a meaningful and equitable way in their Educational Programs.
- Información para padres y tutores con dominio limitado del idioma inglés (LEP) y para las escuelas y distritos escolares que se comunican con ellos
Information for Parents and Guardians with limited use of English and for the School Districts to work together.
- Estoy Determinado: ¿Cómo promover la Auto Determinación en sus hijos?
I’m Determined: How to Promote Self Advocacy for Your Child
- Estoy Determinado: Mis derechos como estudiante en la Educación Especial
I’m Determined: My Rights as a Student in SpecEd
- Estoy Determinado: Lista de Verificación de Autodeterminación para los Padres de Primaria.
I’m Determined: Self Advocacy Checklist for Parents
- Estoy Determinado: ¿Porqué es importante participar en mi IEP?
I’m Determined: Why it is Important to Participate in my IEP
- Lista de acomodaciones y modificaciones para estudiantes que tienen pérdida auditive
List of Accommodations and Modifications for DHH Students
- Gráfico para prepararse para su Conferencia de Caso con la Escuela de su hijo/a.
Infographic for virtual Case Conference meetings
- Gráfico que ofrece una Agenda de muestra para su Conferencia de Caso con la Escuela de su hijo/a
Sample Agenda to follow for virtual Case Conference meetings
- Transition to Pre-School - Download Lisa Kovacs Transition article in pdf form.
- Game Changer: Will Policy Clarification Level the Playing Field?
(This article is about the November 2014 release of the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education policy guidance titled, Frequently Asked Questions on Effective Communication for Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools )
- 10 Mistakes Parents of D/HH Kids Make in Preparing for their I.E.P http://handsandvoices.org/articles/education/
- Eligibility Survivor Kit* link to: http://www.handsandvoices.org/articles/education/
- One Year’s Growth in One Year’s Time- Expect No Less* www.handsandvoices.org/articles/education/
- Tips for Successful Inclusion*
- MUHSEN: Muslims Helping and Supporting Special Education needs
- Home School Legal Defense Association
- The Promise Act - Protecting the Rights of Military Children in Special Education. Advocating for Military Families with Exceptional Needs.
- Parent Information and Training Centers - Find Your Center
- Disability Protection and Advocacy - All 50 States