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Friday, May 10, 2013

Greetings from Arkansas School for the Deaf

Arkansas School for the Deaf;

I would like to invite each of you to consider becoming involved in the Arkansas Hands and Voices Chapter.  They are having a board meeting next week on Thursday, May 16th at 4:30 in the UALR Kaiser Board Room on the UAMS/UALR campus.  This organization is an unbiased support organization for families and professionals who have children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Their philosophy is to offer unbiased support for families and our Arkansas chapter has been growing.  The chapter is ready to take on a chapter coordinator now that they are more financially stable, and yet we still have a long way to go.

One of the missing links in the Arkansas organization is to have more representatives from Deaf Adults and families that sign.  Currently Jeff Prail is the only board member representing this path, and it is important for the organization to be unbiased to have more representatives from the signing community and deaf culture there who can participate without bias.    So I invite you to consider becoming a part with this organization.  Even if you are not interested in serving on the board, next Thursday will give you an opportunity to learn about their unbiased philosophy by participating in the meeting for the first hour.   The first part of the meeting is open to anyone interested in becoming more involved.  

If you live outside the central part of the state and want to participate in this meeting they are Skyping into the meeting for the NORTHWEST ARK corner.  This is a possibility for those in other areas of the state as well, it will just take some organization.  I will help with this if anyone from another area is interested, such as the providers and families from the northeast corner of the state. However, please contact me as soon as possible so I can organize this for you. 
Please forward this to anyone you feel would bring some valuable insight into this organization and invite them to join the meeting.
Thanks for considering this.  ASL interpreters will be available.

Karen Howard
Early Intervention Specialist
Arkansas School for the Deaf
Arkansas Children's Hospital-

Hello all,

In case you have not heard, there are some big changes coming up for Arkansas Hands and Voices which will mean even more opportunities to provide support for families who have children with hearing loss. If you are interested in attending the meeting in Northwest Arkansas, please let me know as I am coordinating the space for that event.

If interpreting services are needed, please let me know by
Friday, May 10th at 2:00 pm.
You are welcome to call/text 479-841-5264 or email

Please see the email below for more information. Hope to see you thereJ

Looking forward to a great meeting!!
Rachel Glade, M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT
Speech-Language Pathologist
Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist

Northwest Arkansas Hearing Impaired Program
University of Arkansas Speech and Hearing Clinic
606 N. Razorback Road| Fayetteville, AR 72701
479.841.5264 direct | 479.575.4509  clinic front office | 479.575.4507 fax

Arkansas Children's Hospital
1 Children’s Way | Slot 113 | Little Rock, AR 72202
479.841.5264 direct | 501.364.7843 office | 501.364.6646 fax

Arkansas Hands and Voices News

Dear Arkansas Hands & Voices,

Recently the Arkansas Hands & Voices Board of Directors had the opportunity for a weekend long training with the Executive Director of Hands & Voices Headquarters, Janet DesGeorges, and H&V HQ board member Helen Leiser. It was a great meeting that provided wonderful training for our group and our board came away re-energized and ready to continue strengthening our Arkansas Hands & Voices chapter. One of the ways we want to do that is to provide opportunities for people to learn more about what H&V represents.  

We want to invite everyone to come next Thursday, May 16th at 4:30 pm to learn more about one of the core values of H&V - "Supporting Families without Bias." We will be showing a captioned training video by Janet DesGeorges that will help us learn more about what that means. This meeting will be from 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm at the UALR Speech and Hearing Clinic. There will be no childcare or dinner provided. There will be ASL interpreters there for the meeting.

A second action item that came out of our training is that we voted to hire a Chapter Coordinator for our chapter. Our board is VERY excited about this decision. The position will start July 1, 2013. The job description is attached. Interested applicants should submit cover letter and resume by June 1, 2013 to - 
Sharon Ross
Phone: 501-733-2975   

Thanks for all that you do to make Arkansas Hands & Voices a great group supporting all families who have children who are deaf or hard of hearing!

Mandy McClellan
EHDI Annual Meeting Coordinator



"Come on, ride the train, it's the choo choo train
Ride it, woo woo
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah -If you feel like dancing, well come on, it's up to you
We got the sound to keep you getting down, down
The train is coming through…….."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

      Well, the 2nd Annual YDHAT Train Ride was a terrific success once again!!! On Saturday, May 4, only 2 families, my family and another family were brave enough to tackle the cold and endure a long train ride to the quiet, but not so sleepy town of Van Buren. The ride was pleasurable and exciting and the train conductor and staff were very informative and hospitable as they talked about the history of the surrounding area as we rode through the countryside.

      There were a total of 6 people with the YDHAT group including my son Leron (4) and I and 4 people from the other family in which my niece Hateya (8) was part of that group. She was accompanied by her grandmother Cris, brother Katavian (4) and her friend Savannah, from her school. 
Leron & Katavian

Savannah & Hateya are all smiles

The youth were given donations of beaded necklaces and Glow Light sticks from YDHAT volunteers, from which they made bracelets, necklaces or they used it as a wand. Also, they were giving a Bulb Light Toy that when pushed, it would light up and spin in the Dark. As we drove through the tunnel, the YDHAT Group was easy to find as they glowed and spun their lights throughout the tunnel. However, the conductor cautioned us for a moment of “darkness” for he wanted the members of our train to experience the ‘pitch black scenery’. After everyone experienced the “Darkness” moment for a few seconds, the lights resumed and the train was aglow once again. 
Saturday Group Pic May 4, 2013

       The walk through Van Buren was nice, although a little chilly. The group ate lunch together at a diner and later we went to another shop for ice cream. There was a delay in our departure from Van Buren, therefore we continued to “Shop Hop” from store to store. Finally, our train arrived and we departed back to Springdale. We arrived by 6pm in Springdale and my son and I went home to prepare for another ride the next day on Sunday.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Dutasaca Family-Leo, Michelle and Leo Jr.
     On Sunday, the weather was a little bit warmer than on Saturday.  For this trip, the YDHAT group had 5 families for a total of 16 people including my son & I and my 2 younger brothers Kelvin and Kenny (Daniel).  Once again donations of Metallic Beads Necklaces, Glow Lights & Bulb Lights were given to the 5 children in the group, including my son Leron who assisted me in passing the items to the other children. Some Bulb Lights had characters such as Spiderman (Leron), Purple Bulb Light (Leo, 4) Incredible Hulk (Leo’s friend Creden-4), Cinderella (Kylee-2) and SpongeBob (Jadyn-9).
Jadyn and her Grandma enjoying the ride

Jadyn and her mom are all smiles.

     Although it was a short trip to Winslow, the children had fun with their Lights as we went through the Tunnel.  After the tunnel experience, and as we were headed back to Springdale, the children managed to bunch up together in their “Kid Area” to play and mingle with each other. When there’s a kid, there’s a way for fun!!

The Kilsch Family-Paul, Kendree and Kylee
Kids discussing their next adventure.
     The YDHAT train ride was a great experience and a wonderful way for parents to bring their kids together and mingle with other kids who are like them. Some parents were able to mingle a little bit but not much due to the seating arrangements on the train. But, once we got off, pictures were taken and small exchanges were made.  
Little Creden with mom Jamie

Oh, I think I see something!!

Kid Area Hangout

Sunday, May 5, 2013 Train Ride

Thanks everyone for the fun!  Thanks to the volunteers who helped to contribute money for the Lights, toys, and candy! Thanks to the Arkansas Missouri Railroad for sponsoring us for the train rides for the YDHAT group this year. 

Well, what’s next for YDHAT??? How about we get ready for some exciting Summer Baseball!!! YDHAT is coordinating with NWA Naturals Baseball Management Team to provide some tickets for the game in June or July or maybe both. More details to come later.