Helen Cotton Leiser
Helen Cotton Leiser and her husband, Walker are parents to daughters Ashlin and Mikaylin both with bilateral profound hearing loss.
Having worked in fund development for non profits for 10 years (even starting one herself!) Helen has finally found her niche! Providing parents with the right resources and information is critical to Helen. As the Executive Director for Hands & Voices of Oregon and the Guide By Your Side Coordinator for Oregon’s EHDI program since 2009, Helen has built relationships statewide both professionally and with other parents.
In her first year Helen organized the first bi-annual statewide Parent Conference providing parents education in several arenas. Advocacy is a passion for Helen and attending IEP’s fuels that passion.
Through Helen’s experience in starting her own non- profit and working in fund development for non-profits of all sizes, Helen also has a passion for ensuring chapters have a good solid foundation so their organizations can thrive. “Non-profits are businesses and should be run with that thought in mind. The right people are needed on the board with the right understanding of what their role is as a board member.”
Helen sits on her State Interagency Coordinating Council and works closely with her Department of Education and educational services around the state ensuring the right services are being delivered.
As the GBYS Coordinator Helen is the first point of contact to new families. “I love this part of the job! Talking with other families is always rewarding and keeps me abreast of what is happening around the state which helps drive what we do.”
“I don’t consider this a job. My girls are deaf, providing me an avenue to direct my drive and passion. I am grateful to them for that and very grateful to the families that let me into their lives!”