Parent Programs


Hello, families!
Our next “Meet A Deaf Person” Webinar is coming up!

Friday, September 18th
2:30 pm CST – 3:30 pm CST / 3:30 pm EST – 4:30 pm EST


Mike Helms

“Mike Helms was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Following his graduation from North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton, NC,
he graduated with double major in Accounting and Organizational Communications from Lipscomb University in 1999. 
Mike has worked with the retail business as a ‘jack of all trades’ and being the official “Hall Monitor” for over fourteen years since his college days.
Mike has been a speaker, through his home congregation, for the state-wide and national workshops throughout the states since 1998. 
He is the director of the Deaf Retreat since 2001 at Camp Discovery in Jackson County of Gainesboro.  Mike has taught American Sign Language for over 25 years. 
Mike has had long ties to Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 1995.  He served as a board member from 1997 to 2006, and as treasurer in 2005-2007. 
Mike is the Vice President of Adult Education and Outreach at Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Nashville, TN.
Mike is also a father and a husband to a loving family.”

Getting to Know Mike
Wrap Up

Interpreters will be provided to ensure accessibility.

We would love to see you there! If you plan on attending, let us know so we can keep an eye out for you!
Feel free to share this to any families/parents that you know will benefit from this webinar.
Professionals are welcome but we humbly request that they prioritize families when we ask questions during the Q&A session.


30-minute sessions available for parents and children to learn how to change themselves into someone or something through American Sign Language (ASL)

Starting at 9 AM (EDT) / 8 AM (CDT)

Register Here:

SignOn Presents Visual Story telling with Trix Bruce

Patricia (“Trix”) Bruce, who is Deaf, delightful and dynamic, is an extraordinary performing artist with a spirited audience-participation entertainment style. Drawing on her background in American Sign Language (ASL) Linguistics and a life of travel and adventure, Trix excels in hilarious true-to-life storytelling and impromptu, interactive ASL artistry. There are words, and then there is Trix Bruce. She can tell you the story of her life, without uttering a word. Trix is a storyteller, a poet, an actress, and a one deaf-woman show. You will be captivated by her electrifying energy, irresistible sense of humor, open-hearted honesty, and rich experience. Enthusiastic audiences all across America celebrate Trix Bruce!

In this special SignOn Offer, parents and children will learn how to “change themselves” into someone or something else through American Sign Language (ASL) in a small group session. In literature, the technique of “personification” gives an inanimate object, a plant, or an animal characteristic that make it seem “human.” The object shows emotions and takes on human-like behaviors. You can use this technique in American Sign Language to “become” a flower, a butterfly, or even a book! Trix will demonstrate how to personify characters and shift roles within a story. You’ll learn how to “become” a baseball, basketball, beach ball, bowling ball, football, marble, ping pong ball, racquetball, soccer ball, water polo ball, and more!

Cost: $15 for a 30 minute session with Trix and 3 other learners!
*After you fill out and submit this form an invoice and scheduling request will be sent to you via email.

Session will be recorded and archived for you and your family to watch over and over again!


Time:  12:00 pm (EDT) / 11:00 AM (CDT)

Lunch and Learn get togethers are an opportunity for parents and families of deaf/hh children to build their knowledge and understanding of topics relating to parenting deaf children. Interpreters are provided for full accessibility in both ASL and English.

Topic: A Crash Course in Deaf Education for Parents with a Focus on FAPE and LRE
Student Age range: 0-18
Presenter: Jack Johnson, Director of CERC at TSD

Presentation Overview:
This session will help parents understand their deaf/hard of hearing child's rights under the Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and their child's Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Note to Professionals: Feel free to join our lunch and learn series!

For a Zoom Link:  Contact David Ogle (See contact info above)



The Southeast DeafBlind Projects are excited to bring Family Story Time into your house!  You may be wondering…what is Family Story Time and why would we want to join?  10 southeast Deafblind Projects have come together to create a FAMILY ONLY on-line space to have fun with your family!

Goals for Family Story Time:

  • Expand the word, “literacy” The word literacy can mean many different things to people.  Often time we think of literacy as…books.  How do we bring books/stories to life for our children? 
  • Build confidence and support for home Support families to create that fun reading time with their child.
  • Meet other families 10 different states….lots of great families to meet!
  • Build home libraries Make an accessible, fun library for your home!
  • HAVE FUN! Join Family Time with your child, siblings, grandparents, and friends!

What do I need to know:

When:   Thursdays  Aug 27-Oct 15, 2020  
Time:     3pm CST / 4pm EST
The first session will be for parents to meet Gwyn and she’ll share what to expect during the 7 Story Time Sessions

Where: Plans are to have a PRIVATE Facebook page to stream story time. We will ask parents at registration.


Who will lead Story Time?
Gwyn McCormack is a teacher for the visually impaired from the United Kingdom.  She shares numerous free materials and resources on her site:
She created The Idea Machine for families to come together during Covid-19.

What Story? Story Time will follow the book, Marvin’s American Adventure”.  Gwyn will send the download for all families to print for FREE.

Cost: FREE

How do I join: Register at this link for all 8 sessions: Click Here To Register

Registration Closes end of day August 13th.

What to expect?   Your child will receive a Sparkly Box full of materials for participating in Story Time and creating arts and crafts to follow the story.


My journey to Self-Advocacy and Becoming Interdependent. Join us for our story!

Click here to register.


Join us to hear our story! From birth to the adult world! Usher diagnosis, independence, school, VR, hello baby, Lucy dog, and work!!!

Click here to register.


Imagine hearing your child can't, can't, can't. This family proved that their child CAN and DID. Join us to hear one family's story about how they were able to navigate the special education system, and have a successful transition for their young adult, in this presentation from birth to overtime. Sponsor: Cheri Dowling

Click here to register.


We would like to invite all families of school-aged children to attend our free TN Hands & Voices Support for Navigating the 20-21 School Year Zoom video meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm CST/ 8:00 pm EST.

Please email Kodi Ogle for access needs, to register, or for questions at We look forward to “seeing” you!



A Conference for H&V Chapter Leaders, H&V GBYS and ASTra Programs, Family Based Organizations, Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and the Professionals Who Work with Us

Exciting Leadership Topics!
• Building Cultural Resiliency in a Diverse Community
• Developing Parent Leaders: Where do Professionals Fit in?
• Influence vs Authority: Expanding your Influence to Create Giants of Others
• And more: Leading with joy, homeschooling, mental health, non-profit management, balancing life and leadership…

The Hands & Voices Leadership Conference brings together family leaders from all over the world to develop skills, to receive training on providing leadership to others and to impact local systems. It is the only conference of its kind devoted exclusively to teach family members with children who are deaf or hard of hearing to be effective agents of change.

This conference is an excellent time to network and learn. Please help us build our audience by extending an invitation to a favorite teacher, your EHDI Coordinator, an important school administrator or families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. If you are not involved in specific activities for Hands & Voices, this is still a fantastic conference containing up-to-date information, fascinating conversations, and exploration of content in a new and exciting way.  Please join us!

The H&V Leadership Conference Registration
$395 - Full general conference
$275 - Saturday Only
$275 - Student - full general conference
- Early Bird Ends August 16th, 2021 -
Registration prices increase by $50.00 on August 17th, 2027

*Housing is not included in price.

CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY: Refunds will be made to those registrants who cancel, less a $75 processing fee. Written cancellation requests must be received on or before August 16, 2020. No refunds will be made after August 16th, 2020. Substitutions are welcome at no charge. Please EMAIL cancellations to

Please note:  We are closely monitoring the CO-VID 19 Pandemic. As of now, we are planning to have an in-person conference.  We are following state and federal guidelines and recommendations. The safety of our staff, attendees, and conference center employees will be our number one priority. In the event we must cancel an in-person conference due to mandatory state and or federal guidelines the following refund policy will be implemented: Full refund of conference registration fees less a .05 percent processing fee will be implemented. Hands & Voices will only refund the cost of registration. No other travel costs will be refunded by Hands & Voices.

The Leadership Conference runs Friday through Sunday, September 17-19, 2021.
General Registration includes:

Friday 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
(Includes light meal and opening session/activities)

Saturday 7:00 – 4:30 pm sessions
(Includes breakfast.  Lunch available to purchase on-site)

Sunday 7:30 – 12:30 pm sessions
(Includes breakfast)

Click Here to Register

Hotel Information--

Special Room Rate Available until August 17th—$139.00 per night

Book your group rate for Hands and Voices Sept 2021

For more conference information please visit the website - link provided below



Each year, TSD Outreach seeks to provide an opportunity for families to gather, children to meet new and old friends, and offer parents information on topics of interest. In the past, the Family Learning Weekend lasted three days and met on the campus of TSD - Knoxville. It serves as an opportunity to provide parents various educational activities to help ensure holistic student success. The past Family Learning Weekends have been combinations of fun activities for the whole family, networking, and training from some of the best professionals in the area.


Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it was necessary to change our approach to this year’s Family Learning Weekend. We have had to change to a virtual format for this year’s Family Learning Weekend. While it won’t be the exactly the same, we are seeking to continue to provide families the same high quality learning opportunities virtually. The change has also allowed us to add two more opportunities to the summer schedule.


This is a FREE event for families of children with hearing concerns birth to school age.



The Family Learning Weekend Virtual Editions are scheduled as follows:


Saturday, May 30, from 9-11am Eastern Daylight Time

Presenter: Jodee Crace

Topic: Early Healthy Communication within the Family: Happiness


Saturday, June 13, 10am -12pm Eastern Daylight Time

Presenter: JoAnn Benfield

Topic: The Importance of Family Involvement