Guide By Your Side
Guide By Your Side is a program from Hands & Voices that provides emotional support and unbiased information from trained Parent Guides to families of newly identified children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Welcome to our very supportive deaf and hard of hearing community. We want you to feel encouraged knowing there are many resources and services available to you.
Every family who has a child who is deaf or hard of hearing has a different story to tell, yet we all share a common bond. At Hands & Voices, we understand the power of parents coming together to support and learn from one another. Families who are just beginning the journey can learn from veteran parents about the challenges as well as the joys of raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, or growing up as deaf or hard of hearing themselves. Looking back, many parents regret not connecting to other parents sooner.
In Louisiana, this program is free to any family who has a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Guide By Your Side Parent Guides are there to support families by listening and sharing stories about their own experiences raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Parent Guides share compassion and practical knowledge as parents who have a deaf/hard of hearing child.
Parent Guides are trained to support families without bias towards any particular communication approach (e.g. oral, sign, cued speech, combined methods, etc). We believe in the Hands & Voices slogan, “What works for your child is what makes the choice right.”
D/HH Guides are deaf or hard of hearing adults specifically trained to provide support to families with invaluable perspectives that come from personal, lived experience. They are uniquely qualified and provide parents with a positive, hopeful perspective from their day-to-day, real life experiences. Connecting with a D/HH guide may also provide provide a look into what the future may hold for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
D/HH Guides give parents the opportunity to ask questions such as “How do you enjoy music? If you were teased, how did you handle it? Why is it so important to point out all the sounds in our world if our child most likely won’t hear them?” and much more.
Interested in learning from the experiences of D/HH Guides, but not sure what to ask? Take a look at our D/HH Guides Conversation Starter Questions.
What are parents saying about GBYS?
"The best thing we did for our family was to get involved with the Guide By Your Side program.
It made a huge difference in our knowledge
and outlook regarding our daughter's future."
If you are a parent or caregiver, you can request contact by a Parent Guide or D/HH Guide by emailing