Minnesota Hands & Voices offers support, information, resources, and hope to empower parents to make the best choices possible for their child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
GUIDE BY YOUR SIDE™
Located throughout the Twin Cities Metro and greater Minnesota, Parent Guides are also parents of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. They are specially trained to be an impartial resource to families and include culturally-specific Parent Guides for Northeast African, Southeast Asian, and Spanish-speaking communities.
The Guide by Your Side™ program embodies our strong values of direct peer connections and networking. It promotes self-efficacy and hinders isolation by exploring our common bond, shared experiences, challenges, wisdom, and insight.
THE THREE CORE PRINCIPLES OF GUIDE BY YOUR SIDE™
- Parents have access to comprehensive information about the full range of opportunities available to their child
- Parents have the right to choose the option(s) best for their child/family.
- Parent Guides can provide valuable wisdom and insight to other parents just starting their journey.
Children’s needs change over time and as each transition occurs, continually tapping into the wisdom of parents can be powerful. Eventually, we hope our children take our place. This is a fundamental element of our philosophy: “We Guide only until our Children can Lead.”read less
PARENT TO PARENT SUPPORT
Connecting with other parents who are farther down the path can offer an incredible amount of support to parents of children who are newly identified as deaf or hard of hearing. Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guides introduce families to others who have made a variety of different decisions about communication opportunities, educational placement, and use of technology.
If you would like to be connected with another family, please fill out this release of information form and send it to us.read less
INFORMATION AND REFERRAL
Minnesota Hands & Voices provides information, resources, and referral to families who have learned that their child is deaf or hard of hearing. We discuss concerns with families, send them information related to different topics of interest, and refer to other helpful organizations or sources of information.read less
We often collaborate with other agencies to provide relevant educational opportunities for families through events, workshops, webinars, and publications. Our frequent newsletters, emails, website, and social media outlets also provide reliable news and information.read less
Every region hosts events where families can make friends and learn from each other. Professionals and adult role models who are deaf and hard of hearing are honored guests and presenters to share their perspective on daily life and important topics to families.read less
LIFETRACK D/HH OUTREACH SERVICES
Minnesota Hands & Voices is a program of Lifetrack. Through its interconnected programs, Lifetrack offers unbiased parent support, connections to the deaf and hard of hearing community, instruction in American Sign Language and the opportunity to develop relationships with successful D/HH Role Models.
The Deaf Mentor Family Program (DMFP) is focused on facilitating early language through American Sign Language (ASL) instruction and sharing valuable insight about the social emotional development of children who are D/HH. Learn More
Lifetrack’s D/HH Role Model Program is founded on the belief that children who are deaf or hard of hearing benefit from a positive relationship with a trusted adult who is also D/HH. Role Models help children who are D/HH practice important, age-appropriate self-advocacy skills and help develop their sense of identity. Learn More
Minnesota Employment Center (MEC) is a joint effort of Lifetrack, Rise, Inc., and Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services. For 15 years, the MEC team has worked with clients who are deaf or hard of hearing to find the best job matches. MEC provides clients with free, on-the-job training in American Sign Language (ASL) and assists with finding job opportunities, resume and cover letter development, interviewing skills, job coaching, on-the-job support and more. Learn Moreread less