Families

Guide By Your Side of Pennsylvania

Hands and Voices Guide By Your Side of Pennsylvania (GBYS) is dedicated to supporting families and their infants and toddlers who are newly identified with hearing loss by offering them an opportunity to talk or meet face-to-face with a Parent Guide, a trained parent of a deaf/hard of hearing child, who can provide assistance using their personal experience and knowledge.

What is a Parent Guide?

GBYS Parent Guides are parents of children who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind who have received special training that prepares them to function in this important capacity. Parent Guides are able to bring their direct experience, specialized knowledge, and personal compassion to their role while making the family's needs their primary focus. They have been where you are and are willing to listen and share their experience.

Who is eligible for the program?

Families of Pennsylvania infants and toddlers (ages birth to 3) who have a hearing loss.

What can the GBYS program do for my family?

GBYS Parent Guides located throughout the state provide:

  • Timely emotional support at the point of diagnosis of hearing loss
  • Direct parent/peer support and networking
  • Unbiased information and resource sharing specific to hearing loss, including insights on navigating the systems from a parent perspective
  • Support to families throughout the Infant/Toddler Early Intervention years by combining an experienced parent's insight with knowledge of Early Intervention and educational systems
  • Information about other parent support opportunities

How much does the GBYS program cost?

The GBYS program is provided to families at no cost.

How do I request a GBYS Parent Guide?

  • Complete the Guide By Your Side (GBYS) Referral Form
  • Or call the Hands & Voices Guide By Your Sideā„¢ of PA Program Coordinator at 717-580-0839
  • Or email

To request contact from the GBYS Program Coordinator, please complete the GBYS Referral Form.  The GBYS Program Coordinator can also be reached at the phone number or e-mail above.

Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side Rack Card

View the Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side rack card

To request rack cards, please contact the GBYS Program Coordinator using the GBYS Referral Form or the phone number or e-mail above.

Early Intervention Voluntary Authorization to Release Information Form

Early Intervention Voluntary Authorization to Release Information Form

The Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program of the PA Department of Health (PA DOH) helps families by ensuring that newborns receive a hearing screening no later than 1 month of age and providing education and support. PA DOH also works to ensure that babies who do not pass their hearing screen receive a diagnostic evaluation by an audiologist no later than 3 months of age and that babies who are diagnosed with a hearing loss are enrolled in Early Intervention no later than 6 months of age.

Find out more about the Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program

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