Texas Guide By Your Side™ (GBYS) is a family support program that embodies the mission of Hands & Voices, which is to provide unbiased support to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. 


 

Guide services to families include:

  • Direct parent-to-parent emotional support
  • Sharing information and resources in an unbiased manner
  • Workshops, trainings, and events for parents and children
  • Networking opportunities with other families
  • Referrals to other programs that serve deaf or hard of hearing children

Parent Guide and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Guide services to professionals can include:

  • Program information and outreach materials 
  • Partnership opportunities for family/parent events

“Parent Guides” are specially trained parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They work directly with families in need of the unique support that comes from someone else who has walked the path him/herself and can share from direct experience and wisdom. Parent Guides can provide emotional support at the time of screening and/or confirmation of a hearing loss, as well as provide a continuity of support to families throughout the child’s life, especially at times of transition. Guides offer resources, information, encouragement, and an opportunity to network with other families.     

“Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) Guides” are specially trained to provide families and children with invaluable perspectives that come from personal experience.  Their role is not the provision of service (i.e., to teach families sign language or to share oral training techniques), but to provide helpful examples drawn from direct experience of life as an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing. Like Parent Guides, DHH Guides are often an important link for extended family members who do not have direct contact with service providers, but do need to increase their understanding of the unique needs of a family member who is deaf or hard of hearing. 

Contact information:

Michaela Hamaker –Texas Guide By Your Side™ Program Coordinator

512-350-5435 voice or text
800-921-8948 fax

 or email


What we do

We G U I D E Families

Give our time & attention - connect with parents.

Introduce ourselves, explain the program, offer support.

Understand the family dynamics & issues.

Listen, dialogue, & get to know the parents and family.

Individualize services, resources, & information.

Share experience, knowledge, research, and referrals.

Determine another date & time to connect.

Follow-up with further contact, more services, support.

Encourage parents to become knowledgeable partners with professionals in order to make informed decisions regarding their child.   

“What Work For Your Child Is What Makes The Choice Right.”

Who we serve

Texas Guide By Your Side serves parents and families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing:  (including extended family members)

             * Living in the state of Texas 

            * From birth through age 21

            * With any degree of hearing loss

            * Attending any kind of educational setting

            * Using any type of communication mode

Texas Guides By Your Side

Our Guides provide free support and services to parents and families throughout the state of Texas, in person when possible, as well as via phone/video phone and email. 

Our Texas Guides are:

Coordinator: Michaela Hamaker 

Name

Role

Jennifer Peterson

Parent Guide (Outreach), FTG

Jennifer Campos

Parent Guide 

Katie Rapp

Parent Guide 

Sarah Milem

Parent Guide 

Linda Lartigue

Parent Guide (Spanish), FTG

Terry Myers

Parent Guide (Spanish)

Sara Goodman

Parent Guide

Yuliana Trujillo

Parent Guide (Spanish), FTG

Tiffany Savage

FTG

 

 

Cori Smith

DHH Guide 

Jonathan Leach

DHH Guide

Brian Rapp

DHH Guide

"Occasionally we are on the look out for potential Guides from various regions across the state. If you are interested in learning more about a Guide position and any possible opportunities with Texas Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side, please contact the program coordinator at coordinator@txgbys.org to see if there are any current openings."

 


 

TX GBYS Annual Reports

FY 2014-2015 Summary report 

FY 2013-2014 Summary report

FY 2012-2013 Summary report

FY 2011-2012 Summary report

 


Follow Through Guide Program

Our Follow Through Guides (FTGs) have the same training as our Parent Guides but also work with the DSHS TEHDI program and providers to reach out to families whose child has possible hearing loss or has just been diagnosed.  Our FTGs encourage these families to follow through on their appointments and to enroll in some form of early intervention (such as ECI) if their child has hearing loss.  The FTGs also work with providers by providing technical assistance, education and outreach to improve the role of the early hearing detection and intervention process in Texas.

Contact information:

KELLIE BERGER - Executive Director 
936-463-8948 (voice)  or email  

and

Sarah Wainscott - FTG Program Manager
email