Monday, November 7, 2011

Deaf Center of Idaho Bazaar

My son Kyle (hearing, student in ISU Meridian Interpreter Training Program) and I spent last Saturday running a booth for Idaho Hands & Voices at the DCI Bazaar. This is an annual event in about its fifth year, and bigger than I expected. We had a few items to sell, plus H&V brochures and newsletters to hand out. I recruited Kyle to do face-painting, and once the kids discovered him, he kept continuously busy painting butterflies, flowers, hearts and ILY hands on faces and arms. Yes, his clientele was exclusively female....

We didn't make a huge amount of money, but covered the booth fee and then some, and had a chance to talk to several people about H&V. Thank you, Diana Collins, for the donation of potscrubbers (I nabbed a couple for myself) and Laura Bainbridge for taking care of the booth so I could make a lunch run for myself and Kyle.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Magic Valley area Halloween Carnival

Last weekend about 160 people attended a Halloween Carnival sponsored by IESDB and Idaho Hands & Voices, at the College of Southern Idaho Corn Maze. The facilities at the maze (two large canvas tents, lots of straw bales to sit on, and a porta-potty) were furnished by the CSI horticulture club for the low cost of $1 a head. Families arrived, decided whether or not they wanted to take a chance of getting lost in the corn field, and then participated in several carnival-style games and pumpkin-painting. The last has been our local Hands & Voices family activity for several years, and instead of our usual 10 to 12 kids, this year we had 85 pumpkins, and they all got painted! As the RSVPs came flooding in, we combined the planned pumpkin ring-toss with pumpkin painting in order to use the same pumpkins for both activities. Lorna brought her harvest (42 pumpkins) and Arden Schmitt gathered the rest from various donors, including H&V member Jenny Hirai.

Lorna Irwin, AKA The Paint Monster

(every mother's nightmare)

Kids of all ages at work!

Don't forget to visit the games!

Green-haired witch Janice Finch
and her pumpkin toss.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Story Book Park (Burley, Idaho) picnic canceled

Most of our H&V families in the Burley area are busy this weekend, so we're cancelling the picnic we'd originally scheduled for August 20. Sorry, folks, next year we'll try to avoid picking a date so close to fair time and the beginning of school!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Treasure Valley FAMILY Day at the Park

Our last FAMILY Day of the Summer... We had a great time catching up with our new and old friends. Sounds like there will be some exciting changes with the River Valley, IESDB preschool program this year. We look forward to hearing more about the upcoming school year in weeks to come. 

Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Magic Valley H&V at Dierke's Lake

Saturday, June 25 the Magic Valley area Hands & Voices members met at Dierke's Lake near Twin Falls. I remembered everything except my camera, so this will be a picture-less report.

Attendance was down a bit from our usual numbers; four families came. A lot of information and support was exchanged, quite a number of cookies consumed, and water sports and beach play enjoyed.

The wading beach at Dierke's was recently upgraded with the addition of a concrete barrier and lots of new white sand. A large amount of this sand went home clinging to the younger members of the picnic party.

Joel and Micah Cram went kayaking around the lake with Jim Irwin, who introduced them to his favorite recreational activity, cleaning up trash. Whether they are sold on this as a fun pasttime I don't know, but the lake is a lot cleaner for their efforts!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Idaho PARENT needed to make a difference

From Cynthia Carlin, Idaho EHDI Project Coordinator:

We are assembling an Idaho EHDI team to provide input into targeted quality improvements around the state.

The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) has conducted EHDI learning collaboratives in several states. Every state is expected to participate in a NICHQ learning collaborative as part of their MCH grants. This is Idaho's year!

State team meetings will probably all be conducted via teleconferencing. Information sharing will be via a Sharepoint type site on the NICHQ website. There are also three national workshops which only a core team will attend during the one year project period. Currently we only have three core team members who are able to travel out of state and we could use at least one more for the next meeting.

Each state team (there are 14 others currently participating) is expected to include the EHDI Coordinator, Data Specialist, Follow-up Coordinator, Audiologist and at least one parent as part of the core team. In addition the team is required to include Nurse Managers and representatives from several screening programs,pediatric audiologists, parents, and representatives of early intervention programs serving Deaf and hard of hearing babies.

Additional members may be- physicians-PCPs, care coordinators in physician offices, social workers, ENT, State Title V Representative, and other stakeholders.

One of the first activities of the Initiative is to collect and assemble lots of data. The team members will assist with reviewing the data reports and providing input as to selecting 'small activities or tests of change' that will be implemented in selected sites for short periods of time. After each implementation phase the resulting data will be collected and provided to team members for more review and input.

The hoped for end result will be the identification of quality improvement methods that work in our State.

The largest time involvement on team members' part will consist of reviewing data results (we'll provide the data) and providing input, both through monthly phone meetings and via the NICHQ sharepoint site.

Two attachments are included which give a little more background on NICHQ and this new initiative--"Improving Hearing Screening & Intervention Systems (IHSIS).

Please consider joining our team! As a team member you will have access to up to the minute information via the sharepoint site!

If you know of other stakeholders who may be interested: parents, physicians, nurses, etc. please feel free to forward this message. Thank you.
Cynthia Carlin
EHDI Project Coordinator
Idaho Sound Beginnings
450 W. State St. Fl-5
Boise, ID 83720-0036

Saturday, June 4, 2011

H&V Treasure Valley FAMILY Day at the Park

Finally -- good weather to enjoy the beginning of summer!

Next H&V Treasure Valley FAMILY Day is scheduled for July 9th @ Guerber Park in Eagle.

Thanks to all who came out.

Visit our Facebook page to view more photos.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

EHDI Conference 2011 Transcripts

You can Read the Transcripts! of the entire EHDI 2011 Conference at:

Keyword: EHDI

Do you have a family story you can share?

From H&V National ...

Rylin and David Rodgers were shocked at how quickly medical debt changed their lives. "Most people assume that a family like ours, because we have two college-educated parents, would have the resources they need to take care of their family’s medical conditions." (excerpt from

Many families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing face financial challenges in getting medical and intervention needs met. It is important that policy makers hear these stories to help them understand the need for adequate insurance coverage and other financing supports so our children can grow up to reach their potential. It’s important that other families hear these stories so they know they are not alone.

Do you have an experience you’d like to share? If so, contact Diane Behl from the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at or 435-797-1224. Diane will help you get your story heard.

AG Bell 2011 Listening & Spoken Language Symposium Registration

~ Time is Running Out for the Special Offer on the

AG Bell 2011 Listening & Spoken Language Symposium Registration
Register for the AG Bell 2011 Listening & Spoken Langauge Symposium by May 20 and receive a savings pass on future AG Bell events and publications!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summer Camp for D/HH Teens

The Marion Downs Hearing Center in Colorado will be hosting a summer camp for teenagers who are deaf and hard of hearing and are preparing to transition to life beyond high school. 

The camp will be held at the University of Colorado in Boulder. It is a two-day camp and is appropriate for college-bound teens. 

They will accept up to 25 campers at no cost (beyond a $25 application processing fee) and those campers will also compete for a *$500 college scholarship*. The scholarship can be used for fees related to preparing for college such as SAT/ACT exam preparation fees, private tutoring, and college application fees.

Applications for camp are due at the end of June. Prospective campers are required to submit a Teacher's Letter of Recommendation as well as responses to two essay questions. Complete application HERE.

For more info, contact:
Rebecca Novinger
MDHC Programs Coordinator
720-862-3681 (VP/V)
720-848-2976 (F)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

H&V Road Trip

** 6 year old perspective of IESDB's Family Event in Twin Falls **

Hands & Voices Road Trip
By Audrey

I went on a road trip today with my Mom. We went to Twin Falls to talk about Hands & Voices. It was a long drive. We picked up our friend Lorna on the way. I helped set up the place with H&V stuff. We made tie dye shirts and I saw a dog with pink toe nails. I saw a lot of people using sign language to talk. I got a horse with pink hair painted on my face and we played a fishing game. When we dropped Lorna off at her home, her 3 mules came right up to me and I thought they were going to lick my face. I don't know why a mule is just not a horse. Today was a fun girls day.

ID H&V on the road ... (with IESDB)

Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind (IESDB) has been hosting a series of family events around the State this month and will continue to do so in May. They were in Coeur d' Alene earlier this past week and today was a fun 'Amazing Race' at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

Idaho H&V was there to participate and provide information about our organization. This was my first trip to Twin Falls and I took my six year old 'assistant', Audrey, along for the ride. It was especially fun meeting families from the Magic Valley as well as connecting with IESDB Outreach Consultants and Brian Darcy, IESDB Administrator.

I'm not sure who had more fun, the kids tie dying shirts and frosting cookies, or the parents determined to win the "Amazing Race". It was a great turnout and IESDB did a wonderful job making families feel welcomed and supported.

The most memorable quote of the day from Audrey, "Why are all these people signing to each other?" Reminded me that although she has been a student of IESDB's auditory-oral program for four years and uses a little sign language with her brothers, she doesn't get much exposure to deaf adults. Actually, she doesn't get ANY exposure to deaf adults. Events like this not only provide parents an opportunity to meet, they give our kids a slightly different perspective on how other d/hh families communicate with each other. Thank you IESDB for a fun day and great learning opportunity for my first grader!

Next up ... IESDB family event at River Valley Elementary in Meridian, Sat, May 7th.

New Board Members

Idaho H&V recently elected new members to the Board of Directors.

Our former President, Renee Higbee stepped down from her position in April, 2011. Renee has an exciting new career ahead of her as she will be graduating from Idaho State University in May with a degree in Educational Interpreting. Her dedication to improving services and providing family support to Idaho's deaf and hard of hearing children is unmeasurable. We greatly appreciate all she has done for Idaho H&V and look forward to her continued service as an educational interpreter. We wish Renee the best of luck in her new endeavors!

Shannon Garlitz, mother of three young children with hearing loss, was elected as the new acting President. Shannon brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to the Board and hopes to encourage new parents to get involved. She has been working on updating the website and building a comprehensive, central Directory of Services. Her main objective for 2011 is to grow membership and create awareness about Idaho's pediatric deaf and hard of hearing community.

Laura Bainbridge, mother of a deaf child, was elected to fill the vacant position of Vice President. Originally from the Midwest, Laura and her husband have lived in Idaho for the last 11 years. Laura spent ten of those years working as a physical therapist assistant. She graduated from Idaho State University's fast track nursing program in 2010 with her bachelor's degree as an RN. She looks forward to helping family participation in Idaho H&V.

Karrie Pargman, Au.D., F-AAA is coming to the Board as a Pediatric Audiologist. She received her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Utah and Bachleor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Vermont. Karrie has been working at the Elks Hearing & Balance Center since May 2007.

We welcome our new Board members and look forward to the year ahead!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gallaudet University - National Outreach Conference

June 24 - 27th in Washington DC

Info from Idaho Parents Unlimited

Dear Families,
As you may be aware, Idaho Parents Unlimited hosts a monthly support group meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in our main office at 500 South 8th Street - 6:00 pm.
A few times per year we have an open chat session but most of the time we offer one of our training workshops based on issues that we hear are important to parents. 
We would love to gather some feedback from you to find out the topics you would most be interestedi in discussing in the upcoming months.  IPUL has many different trainings and a full list is below.  Please feel free to email me with your ideas and suggestions.  Thanks so much!
Angela Lindig
Program Coordinator
Idaho Parents Unlimited
500 South 8th Street
Boise, ID 83702
IPUL Workshops:

1.      IDEA and Special Education: A Parent's Toolbox - Learn the steps in the Special Education process and the six guiding principles of IDEA.

2.      Success with IEP - Learn how to put this communication vehicle to work for your student and how to write meaningful goals.

3.      No Child Left Behind and Students with Disabilities - This workshop will discuss assessments, adequate yearly progress, and teacher qualifications.

4.      Understanding ADHD - Learn about the three types of ADHD and ideas for parents and teachers to help the student be more successful.

5.      Is Your Child the Target of Bullying? Intervention Strategies for Parents of Children with Disabilities - Gain knowledge and strategies for the four types of bullying behavior.

6.      From IFSP to IEP: Early Childhood Transition - Prepare for transition from an Individualized Family Service Plan to an Individualized Education Plan at age three and learn the differences between the two plans.

7.      Parent and Professional Collaboration: A Cultural Perspective  -  Learn about cultural differences and values and what parents from different cultures want from professionals.

8.      Positive Behavior Interventions - Understand more about children's behaviors, functional behavior assessments, and behavior interventions.

9.      Solving the Employment Puzzle - To prepare youth for transitioning from school to jobs. It includes helpful information to be considered in the IEP as part of transition plan, which should occur by age 16.

10.  Legal Life Planning After 18 - This is an informative workshop for caregivers who have young adults that lack the abilitiy to make informed decisions in one or more life areas.

11.  Literacy is for All -  How to help children gain literacy skiills and what services are available to achieve that.

12.  Early Childhood Rights (Birth to 3) -  An Early Childhood Workshop for Families of Infants and Toddlers with Developmental Delays or Disabilities.

13.  Home Files -  How to set up your child's Home File.

14.  Resources For Parents - This workshop gives parents a list of internet websites that, when contacted, contain numerous and invaluable resources pertaining to many children's issues. Such issues may relate to disabilities, education, day care, health facilities, behavior, etc.
15.  Family to Family  - This workshop explains the Family to Family Health Care Education and  Information Centers and how they can help families of children &                                                                                                                       Iyouth with special health needs.  It also discusses Medicaid services  (Katie Beckett program).  
16.  Skills For Effective Parent Advocacy - Parents will understand what "advocacy" means, learn the skills necessary to be an effective advocate, what additional resources they may need and where to go for more information.

17.  Working For Change:  The Power of a Personal Story Evaluation - Learn what advocacy is and why it is important, why changing systems is important, how to craft an effective personal story tied to an issue and who can be influenced to make systems changes.

18.  Getting and Keeping the First Job - Participants will learn about the importance of employment for all and its particular impact on people with disabilities, the critical role of families in promoting disability self-awareness, engaging youth in career planning,  maintaining high expectations of youth, how to navigate  basic job search activities such as creating a resume, building needed work skills, performing well in job interviews and learn about strategies that help youth with disabilities keep the jobs they get.

19.  The Journey to Adulthood:  What Parents Need to Know(Sexuality) - Parents will learn basic information they can use to help their child with a disability understand the physical, emotional, and social changes of puberty and adolescence, how some disabilities impact puberty, adolescent development and social skills, and will learn one or more strategies they can use at home to explain puberty, or teach a new personal care or social skill to their son or daughter. HH

Saturday, April 16, 2011

13th Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children

Funding awards are available to support individuals selected to participate in a special Mentored Doctoral Poster Session. Click here for more info.

New Book Release

Hearing With My Heart autobiography by Justin Osmond

A portion of the proceeds go toward the 'Olive Osmond Perpetual Hearing Fund' to help children worldwide with the Gift of Better hearing. Click her for more info.

Captions Across America Newsletter

Described and Captioned Media Program

Help grow captions Nationwide and sign up for the newsletter ... click here.

RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf - Explore Your Future summer camp

Deaf and hard-of-hearing college-bound sophmores and juniors: Are you wondering what you'll do after you graduate from high school? Stay at the RIT/NTID campus for a week and Explore Your Future!

Deadline for registration: April 30th