HAND IN HAND, Program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children

Hand in Hand, A Mentoring Program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children. The aim of this new mentoring initiative is to provide deaf/hard of hearing Big Brother and Big Sister mentors to deaf/hard of hearing children. Research indicates that over 90% of deaf and hard of hearing children have hearing parents.  Big Brother and Big Sister mentors can help children who are deaf or hard of hearing to improve communication barriers and navigate the hearing world with more confidence.

The Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc. (DCS) reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County (BBBS of SDC) in early 2017, because they recognized the importance for the children they serve, to spend time with deaf/hard of hearing role models who understand the difficulties and challenges the children face.  Together, DCS and BBBS of SDC created this new initiative to serve all deaf and hard of hearing children in San Diego County, by providing them with an opportunity to connect with an adult role model who can relate to their experiences and provide them friendship and support.

In this program, Bigs and Littles meet one-to-one, at least 2 times a month, for at least 1 year. The Bigs and Littles can enjoy doing activities they both enjoy out in the community.

Impacts of hearing loss for children:

  • Spoken language development is often delayed in children with unaddressed hearing loss
  • The language deficit can have an adverse effect on academic performance
  • Increased rates of grade failure and greater need for education assistance
  • Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation, poor self-concept and may impact vocational choices

Proven Impacts for children with a Big Brother/Sister:

  • Increased confidence
  • Perform better in school
  • Improved relationships with friends and family
  • Less likely to use drugs/alcohol

In Partnership with: 

Edith Sanchez Cruz
Program Manager, Community Initiatives
Bilingual (Hablo Español)
(858) 746-9170

Ryan Landis
Volunteer Intake (Adult volunteers 18 and older)
(858) 746-9109

Angelica Cuevas
Child Intake (children ages 7-17)
Bilingual (Hablo Español)
(858) 746-9128