Nebraska Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They are non-biased about communication methodologies and believe that families will make the best choices for their child if they have access to good information and support. Their membership includes families who communicate manually and/or orally. H&V offers unbiased support to families, and their motto is: "What works for your child is what makes the choice right."
Appropriate and quality learning opportunities should exist for all children. The education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing requires specialized programs, and appropriately certified personnel with effective communication skills. The Nebraska Regional Programs was developed to support the concept of regional programs and cooperative relationships with the school districts, educational service units and consortium of school districts in order to:
PTI Nebraska (Parent Training and Information) is a statewide resource for families of children with disabilities and special health care needs.
PTI Nebraska's staff are parent/professionals and are available to talk to parents and professionals about special education and disability specific information.
HearU Nebraska provides hearing aids to children ages 0-18 with priority to newly identified children ages 0-3. To qualify, child cannot have hearing aid coverage through Medicaid, MHCP, or private insurance. HearU also provides assistance to families who are underinsured for hearing aid coverage and meet eligibility requirements.
EDN provides early intervention services for families with children birth to age three* with developmental delays and/or health care needs and connects families to needed services.
Providing developmental supports and services early improves a child's ability to develop and learn. Also, it may prevent or decrease the need for special help later. The goal of early intervention in Nebraska is to “open a window of opportunity" for families to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential.
*Services for children over age three are available through the local school district or educational service unit (ESU).
Deaf Role Models are deaf or hard of hearing adults who are role models to children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. Deaf Role Models help increase a family's ability to successfully communicate with their deaf or hard of hearing child. They increase parent's appreciation for and understanding of American Sign Language (ASL) as well as other forms of communication, Deaf Culture, and the Deaf Community. Deaf Mentors assist in supporting the child's language development, communication, and self-identity through interaction with a deaf adult.
Nebraska EHDI's goal is to facilitate an opportunity for stakeholders to work together to create a statewide Deaf or Hard of Hearing Role Model or Mentor program that will allow parents of a child who is D/HH to have access to a Deaf or Hard of Hearing adult. Our goal is for Deaf adults to be able to share their experiences and opportunities in an unbiased manner. This type of exposure can be through one-on-one interactions, group/social activities, panel presentations, or other means that accommodate the families we serve.
"The two greatest gifts you can give your child are roots and wings." Each year, Boys Town National Research Hospital provides a weekend workshop for Nebraska families with children who have recently been identified as Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
The goal of this workshop is to offer an opportunity for families to learn about hearing loss, network with others, explore ways to support their children's development and learn about educational advocacy. Roots & Wings is founded on the following guiding principles:
Each year, Nebraska EHDI provides a scholarship to one parent who wishes to attend the EHDI Annual meeting. This is an opportunity for a parent to network and learn about the many resources available for their family and child. It is also another opportunity for NE-EHDI to involve parents in our program and ask for feedback for program improvement to better serve families in Nebraska.
We encourage parents of a child (no age limit) who is deaf or hard of hearing, and who have not previously attended the National EHDI Annual Meeting to apply for the scholarship. The goal of the EHDI Annual Meeting is to enhance the implementation of comprehensive state-based EHDI programs. Families play a critical role in recommending improvements in the EHDI process.