As a family who is just learning about hearing loss, we know that you may be overwhelmed and facing some tough decisions ahead. Normally professionals, such as teachers, audiologists, doctors and speech therapists are great resources for information. However, sometimes, a wonderful resource may be overlooked. Families who have already been on this journey for their child can offer an incredible amount of support and information to parents of newly identified children.
Below are a number of guides for a family approach to hearing loss:
Our whole world has changed in such a positive way as a result of his deafness… mainly we have gained a wonderful support group and network of other deaf and hard of hearing families. – Jessie, Noah’s mom
Iowa Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They are non-biased about communication methodologies and believe that families will make the best choices for their child if they have access to good information and support. Their membership includes families who communicate manually and/or orally.
The Iowa Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side (GBYS) program provides emotional support and unbiased information to families of infants and toddlers and with hearing loss. Iowa Hands & Voices and the Iowa EHDI program work together to provide the GBYS program.
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive in mainstream society.
Access for Special Kids (ASK) Resource Center is a training, information and advocacy center for children and adults with disabilities and their families throughout the state of Iowa. Through various projects and partnerships, ASK Resource Center provides a broad range of training, advocacy, support, referral and direct-services coordination related to the needs of persons with all types of disabilities.
Family to Family Iowa is a statewide network of Family Navigators who provide assistance to families of children with special needs (developmental, behavioral, emotional, physical) at no cost to families.
Along with these programs, we are devoted to providing you and your family the support that you need when facing difficult decisions after having a child diagnosed with hearing loss – a whole family here to help.
EHDI-PALS is a web-based link to information, resources and services for children with hearing loss, including a national, web-based directory of facilities that offer pediatric audiology services to young children who are younger than five years of age.