2023 Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Conference

March 5-7, 2023 • Cincinnati, OH


3/14/2022  |   1:15 PM - 1:45 PM   |  A Parent's Journey into Advocacy   |  Room 2

A Parent's Journey into Advocacy

The single most important predictor of a newly identified child’s success is the meaningful and effective involvement of his or her parents and family. (2000 Journals of Perinatology, 20, S132-137. Yoshinaga- Itano, C., Coulter, D., Thompson, V.) A parent’s journey typically begins with family involvement and many times transitions to the need to advocate for our children until they can advocate for themselves. For parents, the need to advocate typically comes at a time before they have the opportunity for any training or support in the why, what, and how of advocacy. The need to advocate can be intimidating, overwhelming, and very time consuming for families during what most would describe as the busiest time of their lives. This session will explore one parent’s experience into advocacy and the impact learning to advocate had on the outcomes for her child who is now a young adult. Practical suggestions of where to find support and from who will be shared along with how and when parents can include their child in learning to advocate for themselves.

  • Participants will be able to identify challenges families face that require them to learn to advocate for their child
  • Participants will be able to list resources that support families learning to advocate for their child and family
  • Participants will be able to describe different ages and stages of self-advocacy that parents can promote with their children

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Lisa Kovacs (InPerson), Hands & Voices , lisakovacs@handsandvoices.org ;
Lisa Kovacs is the Director of Programs for Hands & Voices Headquarters and the Director of the Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3) Center. She and her husband Brian have four young adult children including her son who is hard of hearing/deaf. Lisa was the 2019 Antonio Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence recipient. Her professional interest include; Parent Advocacy; Implementation of parent participation and engagement in systems building; Parent to Parent support; Deaf Education Reform; IDEA, ESSA, Part C and Part B Training to Parents, and Parent Leadership Training and Development.


Financial -
No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial -
No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.