Is Hands and Voices Really Unbiased and Neutral?

Posted: February 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

Is Hands & Voices Really Unbiased and Neutral?

I have been approached and encouraged to join Hands & Voices,,  but some have warned me that Hands & Voices is not really unbiased and neutral despite of their mission statement:

Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our outreach activities, parent/professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children to reach their highest potential.

Here is my question about Hands & Voices after reading the mission statement above:   “Shouldn’t Hands & Voices’ chapters also be unbiased and neutral?  Does the national board at Hands &Voices make sure that their state chapters follow the Hands & Voices’ mission statement?

Here is my concern about Hands & Voice chapters, especially Indiana Hands & Voice chapter,

Kelly DiBenedetto, Executive Director and Lisa Kovacs, both of Indiana Hands & Voices chapter are working directly with Hear Indiana and their lobbyists everyday and are  involved in meetings with the author, Representative Noe, of the controversial HB 1367.  They are actively lobbying in their role as Hands & Voices in support of this bill the House and Senate of Indiana.

Lisa Kovacs is a parent of an oral child and advocates for speaking and listening.   She is the National Guide By Your Side Trainer and spokesperson (GBYS) for Hands & Voices and she is a paid staff by Hands & Voices.  She is the first point of contact to parents in Indiana’s GBYS program working with Indiana’s EHDI program.   She trains and assigns Parent Guides to families.  There are hearing and Deaf parent guides but rarely is a Deaf Parent guide contacted by her.

Doesn’t this show that she is biased and NOT neutral.

Lisa now is ACTIVELY working aside Hear Indiana’s lobbyists and in the meetings with the author of HB 1367 and also have already testified in support of the bill, HB 1367.

Isn’t this obviously a BIG CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

What does this say about the National Hands & Voices and its mission statement.

John F. Egbert

  1. Anonymous says:

    Be respectful when you send and stick to the facts from your previous e-mail that you sent to the House.. If you want put Evan’s name in your subject line: For Evan – OPPOSE HB 1367

    Hear Indiana, a chapter of AG Bell for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

    HB 1367 was assigned yesterday to the appropriations committee. Here are the members names and emails:

    Luke Kenley (Chair), Republician, District 20,
    Connie Lawson (HB1367 Sponsor), Republician, District 24,
    Ed Charbonneau, Republician, District 5,
    Phil Boots, Republician, District 23,
    Brandt Hershman, Republician, District 7,
    Patrica Miller, Republician, District 32,
    Ryan Mishler, Republician, District 9,
    Brent Waltz, Republician, District 36,
    Thomas Wyss, Republician, District 15,
    John Broden, Democrat, District 10,
    Lindel Hume, Democrat, District 48,
    Karen Tallian, Democrat, District 4,

    Please tell them you OPPOSE HB 1367!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Stop using my son’s name in your subject line. You are impersonating a CHILD!! Stop! I’m reporting this..

  3. Anonymous,

    I don’t see any son or male’s name in my blog.

    John F. Egbert

  4. Anonymous says:

    John, it is in your first comment on the 5th. You may want to remove that comment that the anonymous person left. Thanks!

  5. johnfegbert says:

    To Anonymous,
    I removed the last name.
    I am not sure what this is all about but the comment stays in and there is a big concern of those that associate with AGBell that doesn’t approve bilingualism: American Sign Language and English for all Deaf children.


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