The Hands & Voices
Leadership-to-Leadership (L2L) Program

“Trained Parent Leaders can be defined as parents who have experiential knowledge and who gain skills necessary to function in meaningful leadership roles and present a “parent voice” to help strengthen families, work in active, equal partnerships with others to create and influence effective programs, and contribute to the vision and implementation of the systems that are created for families.”

- Hands & Voices

Hands & Voices unveiled our newest program in September 2018 at the 15th annual Hands & Voices Leadership Conference. The Leadership to Leadership (L2L) Program is designed to meet Hands & Voices parent leaders on their journey of leadership which is unique to serving families with children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. This program provides leadership development skills to current leaders and supports the sustainability of chapters and programs through a proactive approach to leadership development and succession planning. The development of the L2L program is a response to the maturation of the organization.

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L2L Areas of Learning

The program is designed to provide a one-year training opportunity to a cohort of parent leaders who seek to increase their knowledge and skills in the areas of: Personal leadership development; Supporting and leading others; and Working with organizations, agencies and individuals to create systems level impact. Each of the three domains are supported through the work of six corresponding components.

Program Design

The program uses a three-pronged approach to information exchange and leadership growth in the areas of learning, mentoring/coaching and peer-to-peer interaction. The learning includes formal and informal learning, through small group meetings, large public webinars, and Do It Yourself (DIY) activities including reflecting and evaluating personal learning. The mentoring/coaching piece transmits knowledge, wisdom, experience, and support from a selected parent mentor to an L2L parent leader. Each L2L Leader is matched with an experienced mentor through a selective application process. The peer-to-peer interaction comes through facilitated learning in a group setting. Activities are used to support engagement and collaborative learning to increase peer-to-peer networks.

L2L Enrollment and Timeline

Enrollment in the L2L is through an application process that begins in early summer. The Hands & Voices L2L program committee reviews applications and accepts L2L Leaders for the current cohort. The program title "Leadership to Leadership" is just that. It starts and concludes each September at the Hands & Voices Leadership Conference.

Additional Leadership Development Opportunities

Although this program has a limited number of participants each year, H&V is dedicated to providing a wide variety of leadership learning opportunities for H&V members and those outside the organization. Whether it's from peers at Hands & Voices (chapter and program quarterly teleconference calls, regional meetings, etc.) or from outside sources, there are many ways to engage in opportunities for leadership learning and growth. Some of these offerings that happen throughout the year: Individualized Chapter and Program Support; H&V Leadership Conference; Leadership Book Club; and H&V Chapter Support Zoom Classes. You can find these opportunities on the H&V Calendar

Questions? E-mail us at

L2L Webinar Screencasts


Description (Link to videos below)



Leadership Essentials: Navigating the Path to Success

This presentation explores the leadership journey, exploring components of how to become a leader, engaging others, finding strengths, and leading effectively as a parent leader in the EHDI system. By reflecting on oneself, building trust, and embracing diversity, individuals learn to inspire and motivate others. Key aspects discussed are setting a clear vision, nurturing teams, and handling challenges with resilience. This webinar offers actionable insights for aspiring and current leaders, emphasizing continuous growth.


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The Stepping Stones to Valuing Yourself as a Parent Leader


Over the years Parent Leaders have greatly impacted system change through their contributions locally, statewide, and nationally. Building confidence in parents of children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing can often lead to meaningful parent involvement and parent leaders. Through lived experience of advocating for their child, parents informally build leadership skills. Working in partnership with other valuable stakeholders, parent leadership is a strengths-based approach to family support founded on the belief that parents are most knowledgeable about the family experience. With confidence, knowledge and desire all parents have the potential to become strong parent leaders.

Presenters: Christine Griffin (WA H&V) and Cora Shahid *(CA H&V)

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Building and Fostering Connections Between your FBO and EHDI Programs (8/10/23)

Do you want to create or expand upon your partnership with your state EHDI program or FBO (Family Based Organization)? What can you do by next week to get started?  How can FBO’s help the EHDI program fulfill their parent-to-parent support objectives and metrics. The foundation can start with parent-to-parent support and expand to include diversity, equity & inclusion, reducing loss to follow up and collaboration with early intervention. We will share specific ways that we have partnered over our 15 years of working together as an EHDI Coordinator and a parent partner to achieve goals while strengthening our commitment to each program's success. Now’s the time to collaborate as EHDI programs write for their upcoming competitive grant applications. By taking a deeper dive into EHDI partnerships that support grant objectives, participants will walk away ready with ideas and written examples that they can put into action to improve upon support, resources, and outcomes for all.

Presenters: Carrie Balian and Ginger Mullin

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Don’t Set It and Forget It!

As leaders, we spend a lot of time and energy inviting others to join us at “the table” through recruiting and hiring new staff, bringing in new nonprofit board members, and/or finding new committee members to contribute to our systems work. However, without putting intentional thought into what we will do with these new individuals and “setting the table”, we could lose them before they become actively involved and engaged. Strategically designing and implementing orientation and onboarding processes can impact the longevity, enthusiasm, and sustainability of new leaders in an organization. Effective orientation encourages confidence and contributes to more productive involvement by providing key tools and organizational culture right from the start. Onboarding enhances this process providing more individualized, ongoing support setting he/she/they up for success. This session explores strategies and tips to help ensure that all the hard work put into finding the “right” individual pays off, and those who are coming into the fold are equipped to harness the enthusiasm that brought them to the organization in the first place! 

Presenters: Janet DesGeorges and Terri Patterson

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Mentoring within the EHDI System: Where do you fit?

Join the Hands & Voices Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3) Center for a look at mentoring. Having mentors in your work life and having the opportunity to mentor others enriches our experiences as Leaders to approach work with our own lived experiences, as well as what we learn from others. During this presentation we will explore mentoring relationships from the parent leader perspective. You will leave with an understanding of what a mentor is, characteristics of a good mentor, and tools to strengthen relationships within your own state/territory system.

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Presenter: Angelina Myers

Diverse Family Leaders: Making Progress and Showing You How!

Join the Hands & Voices Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3) Center for a look at how to recruit and empower new family leaders from diverse, cultural backgrounds to become leaders in the systems that serve families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Drawing from their own experience as culturally diverse family leaders, Marbelly Barahona (LA Hands & Voices) and Lydia Hernandez (IL Hands & Voices) will engage attendees in a presentation that will share innovative strategies and creative solutions through different models, to support underrepresented families, as well as support diverse parent leadership development. Download the slide deck.

Presenters: Marbelly Barahona and Lydia Hernandez.


Successful Leadership Transition: You’ve Got This! (4/7/2022)

Join the Hands & Voices Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3) Center for a walk through how two Parent Leaders at Illinois Hands & Voices has successfully moved from a Presidential Board of Directors to an organization lead by an Executive Director without leadership turnover. Leadership is ever-evolving; this session will address how one family-based organization has successfully transitioned and grown from the ground up through developing and embracing policies, processes, descriptors and relationships. Download the slide deck.

Presenters: Andrea Marwah and Andrea Stambaugh.

Introverts Can Be Great Parent Leaders (12/9/2021)

Join the Hands & Voices Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3) Center for a look at up to half of your possible parent leaders. Are they quiet at meetings? Do you wonder if they can engage other parents? Explore the topic of the introvert leader during this session and leave with practical strategies to engage the quiet ones on your EHDI mission. Drawing upon her own experience as an introvert, Sara Kennedy will engage attendees in a presentation where participants will leave with a greater understanding of how to work with parents – and others – who are introverts. Download the slide deck.

Presenter: Sara Kennedy


Creating Authentic Partnerships: Parents and Professionals

When parents and professionals view one another as equal partners, a true partnership can develop through collaboration. Collaboration between Parent Leaders and EHDI professionals requires respect, trust, and a consistent, mindful effort to communicate. These are important elements of partnership in the co-production of services that are designed to meet the unique needs of families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing from the diverse and cultural populations in your state or territory. This webinar will discuss how Arizona EHDI has evolved, how parent partnerships are viewed, the level of parent leader involvement, and how parents have moved from a seat at the table to leading at the head of the table.

Presenters:   Heidi Klomhaus and Lylis Olsen

How to Build and Sustain Your Team

This one hour webinar provides strategies and addresses the critical importance of motivating your team and implementing effective succession planning in your organization. Relationships are the key to ensuring your team is poised to do the important work you are tasked with in supporting families raising children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and to continue the sustainability of productive, healthy growth through intentional planning. Download the Slide Deck

Presenters:   Karen Hopkins M.Ed CAS and Michelle Thomas M.Ed



Time Management as Self-Care

Time and energy are our most precious resources. Choosing how, where and with whom we spend these is directly correlated to our well-being. This session explores how effective time management can positively impact your health, happiness and personal/family/work balance.

You will learn a variety of easy to implement strategies to increase personal and work productivity, as well as improve your own well-being.

[ Download Slide Deck ]

Presenters:   Terri Patterson, H&V HQ Dir. Chapter Support, Alyson Ward, M.S., IA, CHES, NCHAM

Building Collaborative Relationships for Families (8/27/2020)

In order for a system to be effective for a family, one must be able to be familiar and build relationships with various stakeholders. This webinar identifies various systems and how these can influence and/or impact a deaf or hard-of-hearing child’s life, as well as what this mean for their families. The role of collaboration and strategies that can be used is included.

Presenters: Djenne-amal Morris and Nancy Hlibok Amann

The How To of Human Resources at a Non-Profit Without a ‘Human Resources Department’


Being in a leadership role at a non-profit can stretch us into areas of management that we haven’t yet had much experience. This webinar, the fifth in our Leadership Series, will examine ways to build and sustain diverse teams through recruiting, training, and evaluation.

Presenters: Lisa Kovacs and Karen Wisinski

Understanding Your Leadership Style and the Value of Mentoring


This webinar focuses on leadership styles and mentoring. This training will provide examples of leadership styles that will allow the participants to determine their own leadership style as well as insight on those that they work with. The value of mentorship, tips and ideas on how to find diverse mentors from the continuum of parent and DHH Adult perspectives, and how to be a mentor to others will also be discussed.

Presenters: Amanda Hvass and Molly Martzke.

Family Engagement in Systems Leadership


This one-hour webinar, the third in the Hands & Voices Leadership series, will focus on family engagement in systems leadership through the topics of: family leadership representing diverse family experiences, family leadership in systems from diverse and cultural populations, systems and legislative advocacy.

Presenters:  Cheryl Deconde Johnson, Rana Ottallah and Lisa Kovacs. 


Building your Skills in Nonprofit and Conflict Management


This webinar will provide an overview of essential elements on nonprofit management -   the development and management of funds; strategic planning, delegating and monitoring of goals and objectives; tracking progress; Conflict Management – we will explore the basics of these components and tools that we can use to evaluate and guide our plans and actions.  

Presenters: Terri Patterson, Molly Martzke.


Building your Confidence in Leadership and Enhancing your Public Speaking Skills


Hands & Voices believes that Leaders can be developed by enhancing one’s natural ability with skills development through formal and informal learning opportunities. To meet individuals on their journey of Leadership that is unique to serving families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Hands & Voices will be hosting a series of webinars focusing on different components of Leadership. This first webinar will take a closer look at Confidence and Public Speaking.  Confidence and Public Speaking go hand in hand in delivering a message or an idea and are integral components of personal leadership and systems level participation.

Presenters: Karen Putz, Janet DesGeorges, Lisa Kovacs


60 second Leadership Moments