Join us for #GivingTuesday and tips for the holidays
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Access and the holidays

The holidays are about spending time with family and friends, being thankful, and celebrating the joy we bring to one another. With all that in mind, we're sharing some pointers to help keep the conversation available to everyone in your family, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. 
Holidays can be loud With so many people in one space, it can be a real challenge to keep up with and understand conversation. Expect there to be some communication breakdowns and come up with solutions ahead of time. If you're hosting the event, keep additional background noise to a minimum. Keep the music and the television off.
Keep the lights on Mood lighting, or lighting with just candles, can make listening nearly impossible for some. Reading facial cues, while not always accurate, certainly helps with listening.
Preferential seating Encourage your child to find a good listening spot at the table. Help them determine where they'll be able to better see everyone, which will improve their chances of hearing everyone.
Expect children to get tired All children get tired at large gatherings. It's exhilarating to see family and friends who you may not see all the time. Remember, though, to take special care with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Give them an opportunity to take a short break away from the crowd. Go for a walk down the block or just sit outside for a few minutes to enjoy the peace.
Plan ahead Talk with your older child before the big day arrives. Come up with some strategies together, encourage them to come up with ideas to help the day go smoother. 

Ditch the spotlight Your child may become very uncomfortable if you make a big announcement to family and friends about your child's hearing needs. Let your older child guide you on how to establish ground rules for communicating. With very young children, you can gently remind family and friends about communicating well in large groups. 

With access to communication in mind,
and a bit of planning, everyone can have a wonderful season enjoying time spent together!

Please join BEGINNINGS for #GivingTuesday on Dec. 1. #GivingTuesday kicks off the season of giving. Here's what to do: Take an #UNselfie of yourself and share it on social media. Tag #GivingTuesday, #UNselfie, #ncbegin, @ncbegin, and let others know why you support the work we do at BEGINNINGS. We're hoping to raise $500, which will fund one home visit to a family. That includes one parent educator's time and travel, and resources supplied to one family. Visit and choose to donate one time or become a sustaining donor. We appreciate your support. We'll see you on the internet!
BEGINNINGS team members!
Thank you to our families who supported our Walk4Hearing team this year and who joined us for the walk. You make our work possible,
and are an inspiration
to us all!  
We'll see you at next year's walk!
Diane Doak, executive director
Meet our new Executive Director
Diane Doak has been with BEGINNINGS
since August 1998, as the director of programs and a parent educator. Diane has a long history of working with families, including with the North Carolina Infant Toddler Program. As a parent educator, she has spent countless hours working with more than 700 parents to help them understand hearing loss and the impact on their child and their family. She has attended more than 400 school meetings with her families. More importantly, she personally knows the struggles parents face.Twenty-seven years ago her youngest was born with a cleft palate and underdeveloped  jaw and ears. He has a severe conductive hearing loss and has worn a hearing aid since he was just months old. There was no BEGINNINGS in Texas to guide her and her husband, so she had to navigate through the new vocabulary, surgeries, and therapies without a parent educator.  While she is proud of how she and her husband raised their children, she wants to ensure North Carolina parents do not have to start their journey alone. Please join us in congratulating her on her new position.

BEGINNINGS is a 501(c)(3) that supports parents of children who have hearing loss
(ages birth to 22) by providing impartial information about communication options, emotional support and technical assistance as they make decisions for their child and family.
BEGINNINGS provides support to the professionals who serve these families and deaf parents
of hearing children, and works to educate all parents and children about
the importance of hearing loss prevention.

Copyright © 2015 BEGINNINGS For Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
All rights reserved.

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BEGINNINGS For Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
156 Wind Chime Court, Suite A
Raleigh, NC 27615

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