Sunday, July 29, 2007
Hands & Voices Leadership Conference
I spent four days at Peaceful Valley Ranch for the annual Hands & Voices board meeting and Leadership Conference. The photo above was taken from a bridge right outside the dining room. The area is incredibly rustic and simply beautiful.
Four full days of workshops and connecting with parents, professionals, deaf and hard of hearing adults from all over left me quite exhausted, yet uplifted. Just four years ago, Hands & Voices had only three chapters. Today, 36 states are involved and committed to "What works for your child is what makes the choice right."
Every year, we show a short, but very powerful video, "The Time is Now," which is a collection of individuals sharing a message: Now is the time to make changes for every deaf and hard of hearing child.
After the video, Leeanne Seaver, the executive director, asked each of us to stand up and give the names of the individuals that we are working together for.
One by one we stated them: "This is for Dane, Maddie, Sara, David, Lauren, Steven, Joshua, Danielle, Elizabeth..." and around the room we went until we were all standing together--
"And for every deaf and hard of hearing child in this world."