Deaf/Hard of Hearing Infusion within Hands & Voices
The following is a Hands & Voices policy document approved by the Hands & Voices
Board of Directors in July, 2011.
Hands & Voices recognizes the importance of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) individuals with diverse languages, modes of communication, ages, education, and life experiences in all aspects of the organization. This diversity provides a valuable resource to families with deaf and hard of hearing children, enabling them to interact with peers and adults who embrace the Hands & Voices philosophy of non-biased support.
To the greatest extent possible Hands & Voices chapters are to actively seek meaningful involvement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who support the Hands & Voices philosophy and are willing to share their time, expertise, and unique perspective to support families without regard to the communication mode chosen by the families. This partnership includes regular contributions in The Communicator written by and about D/HH individuals, as well as participation in Hands & Voices in accessible workshops, meetings, and events.
- Hands & Voices includes and encourages active participation in our organization at all levels by deaf and hard of hearing adults who represent the rich diversity among this population with varying types and degrees of hearing status, age of onset, educational and family background, communication mode and language preferences.
- Hands & Voices endorses full communication access for all individuals.
- To the greatest extent possible, Hands & Voices chapters are to actively seek meaningful involvement of diverse deaf and hard of hearing individuals who have the time, unique expertise, and perspectives to support families without regard to the communication mode or language preference chosen by the families.
- All Hands & Voices board members must complete Supporting Families Without Bias training.
- All Hands & Voices meetings and events will follow the Hands & Voices Communication Ground Rules and the Interpreting Services / Access policy to ensure full communication access.
- The Hands & Voices Communicator will include a section titled Deaf/Hard of Hearing Perspectives.
- Hands & Voices encourages other organizations to include D/HH individuals with diverse languages, modes of communication, ages, education, and life experiences in their organizations. ~
For further discussion read the sidebar to this document called We Have a Dream. This article seeks to explore some of the concrete aspects of this ‘infusion’ into the work that we do at Hands & Voices, as well as the core value of supporting families without bias within our organization. More...