The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2011, March 26-27

Minnesota Hands & Voices

Paired with Rainbow PonyCake

Minnesota Hands & Voices provides neutral parent-to-parent support to families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing to prevent family and child isolation. Our Parent Guides are located throughout Greater Minnesota and in the metro area and are parents themselves of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We are the only resource of its kind in the state.

Through the Minnesota Department of Health we serve families of newly diagnosed infants and children. Annually Minnesota Hands & Voices serves over 800 clients by connecting families to other parents in their area, providing a library of materials and resources, providing a monthly newsletter addressing current issues and research, and providing educational and fun activities for children and their families. We are a chapter of the national organization, “Hands & Voices,” which enables us to link families identified with hearing loss.

Minnesota Hands & Voices is a program of Lifetrack Resources, Inc. Lifetrack Resources is a nonprofit human services organization in St. Paul committed to working with people to overcome poverty, trauma, and health challenges to achieve their goals.

What new functionality we are looking for

The most needed functionality in a new website is for a online library of our research materials, monthly newsletters, and taped webinars. We would like to provide an easy method for parents across the state and nation to access information so that they can research their choices and make decisions for their child's future.

It is important that the site is easy to navigate and search but also provide our Parent Guides and staff the opportunity to focus on different topics weekly. We would like to see the site as a place where parents want to visit to get the most up-to-date research.

Our audience of parents of newborns is young and tech-savvy and would be interested in connecting to Minnesota Hands & Voices as well as other parents. It is important to not only provide a link to social networks but really integrate them as part of the site. We would like this community to feel like it has a home.

How the new functionality will help

Hearing loss is very unusual in that it is a condition that can be overcome if parents have access to readily available, reliable, trustworthy and comprehensive information delivered in a family-friendly way. We have all the tools but lack the means to disseminate this information easily to parents. A new website can help us achieve our mission of providing families with support.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

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41 Messages from Supporters

2011-02-04 19:45:08 UTC
Dee Balentine

MN Hands and Voices does an exceptional job in keeping parents aware of information for the DHH community. They provide information locally regarding events, classess etc., but also on a political level. They are a great resource to have. I truly appreciate all that they do!

2011-02-05 01:49:04 UTC

MN Hands & Voices has been helping families w/ children who are deaf and hard of hearing for 10 years. They have a monthly newsletter that's a must read for families and professionals, have really caring staff, and have great resources. Please help this very deserving organization help more families in a more effective way.

2011-02-05 02:01:00 UTC
Norbert Gernes

Every person deserves the opportunity to become the best they can be!
MN Hands & Voices is dedicated to the goal.

MN Hands & Voices has been helping families w/ children who are deaf and hard of hearing for 10 years. They deserve our support.

Keep up the good work!

2011-02-05 02:12:17 UTC
Phankeo Thranphadoung

MN Hands & Voices is a great resource for MN families w/ children who are deaf and hard of hearing, but needs help delivering that information to those who need it. A newly designed web site could do so much for their small but very dedicated team of parents of kids who have hearing loss!

2011-02-05 19:36:40 UTC

Minnesota Hands and Voices provides a much needed service to parents of children who have hearing problems. Their web site is VERY out of date with the current state of web site design and can be made much better and easier for parents to use if it were completely updated. Please consider them for a free web site update.

2011-02-05 20:17:02 UTC
Karen Fogolin

Minnesota Hands and Voices provides a valuable service to families of children with hearing problems. Every family deserves access to resources and services to ensure their child has the quality of life we all want for our children. Social networking is today's access to service. Please support this essential service and help with their website. Great work MN Hands and Voices!!

2011-02-06 02:03:58 UTC
Clare Sexton

The website of MN Hands and Voices is only doing a fraction of what it could do. The support this organization provides families with children who have hearing problems is a tremendous service to our community. An updated website would help to provide a greater impact by easing use and creating more possibilities to serve. Please consider them for a free web site update.

2011-02-07 18:52:38 UTC
Thomas J Marr, MD

MN Hands and Voices provides valuable support to families and children. We do know that people choose to get their information in various ways. The website provides an essential tool to reach those families who prefer social networking or who are searching for support for their children.

2011-02-14 19:04:50 UTC
Madilyn's mom

Please consider MN Hands & Voices as the new web-site design winner. This organization provides such valuable info and a new web-design is much needed. I am thankful for this organization and the service they provide.

2011-02-08 16:09:58 UTC
Terri Patterson

As a parent of a child who is deaf, I have greatly benefited from MN Hands & Voices...the resources, the support without judgement,the connections. I do most of my researching online and upgrading/updating their website will provide the organization with a much better vehicle for delivering information to parents like me...I want a legitimate site that is easy to navigate and is chock full of information. They can do this is you help them.

2011-02-09 02:38:52 UTC
Lisa Kovacs

MN Hands & Voices is a valuable resource to many MN families. Having a functional and easily accessible website is especially important to today's busy families. They need a site that they can use on their time and at their pace to find the information they need to support their child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Please consider MN Hands & Voices.

2011-02-09 02:53:10 UTC
A Grandparent

Mn Hands and Voices brings an invaluable resource to parents of deaf children seeking information, support, social interaction. Updating their website would make it easier to use and more interesting. I can't think of a more deserving website for a free upgrade.

2011-02-09 12:30:27 UTC
Lisa Crawford

MN Hands & Voices provides much needed support and information to families that otherwise would struggle to find resources. An upgraded website would allow them to greatly expand and improve their outreach to families. MN Hands & Voices and MN families need your help - please consider them for the website upgrade.

2011-02-09 20:19:54 UTC
Janet DesGeorges

MN Hands & Voices is one of the most helpful organizations in the state of MN. They don't just talk about the needs, they meet them! They provide accurate, unbiased support and information to families who have children who are deaf/hard of hearing. They have proven themselves again and again as THE go to organization for this population.

2011-02-09 22:30:39 UTC
Katie Kosseff

Minnesota Hands & Voices has a small, dynamic staff that manages to serve a lot of people with limited resources. An updated website could really help the program to communicate efficiently and effectively with people around the state!

2011-02-10 04:32:55 UTC
Yolanda Head

"By myself I'm strong, but with this organization I am powerful." The support of having Hands & Voices in the lives of families struggling with the initial diagnosis of hearing loss to trying to figure out what your young adult son/daughter is going to do with the rest of their life after High School is frightening without the support of H&V. Your methodology is never questioned, because the choice you make for your family is the right choice - period. H&V provides parent to parent support that enables one to connect with other familes going through the same issues of hearing loss, commnunication choices, school support and advocacy. Please award H&V to receive this very generous gift so that they can continue to reach families with children of hearing loss, in order to make a difference in the life of a child. This is the one opportunity you have to TRULY make a difference in the lives of families throughout the state and the country. As I turn to my own child, who has bilateral cochlear implants, and stare in amazement that he can communicate with me and the rest of the world, I know he has been blessed not only because of the CI, but because of the families and leadership of Hand&Voices who supported my many communication options.

Thank you,
Yolanda Head
mother of Garrett, 6

2011-02-10 15:38:27 UTC
Tracey Rodrigue

I am the Mom to a 14 year old son, who is hard of hearing. It is difficult at best to obtain unbiased information to help my husband and I make informed decisions about raising our son. Minnesota Hands and Voices is an amazing organization that provides this unique service that is so critical to my family. If they are able to offer a more functional web experience, they will be able to reach and help so many more families like mine. A very worthy investment!

Mom to Andrew, age 14

2011-02-10 21:18:24 UTC

I am a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing and have worked mainly with newly diagnosed babies and young children. It is so important to give the families the needed information and resources available to them as they begin their journey. Minnesota Hands and Voices is a great resource for these families and by updating their website they can continue to offer help to so many.

2011-02-11 01:17:30 UTC
Sue Barrett

In September 2010, I adopted an deaf daugther from China, Our school distict gave me a packet from Minnesota Hands and Voices. Being new to having a child in the deaf community, when we had some challenges with her, Hands and Voices had great resources for us to help us. They also keep us to date with things and events that are going on for the deaf and hard of hearing which helps our daughter greatly as she is learning about her new life in America.

2011-02-11 17:26:47 UTC
Teresa Kazemir

Minnesota Hands & Voices has such a wonderful hard-working group of Parent Guides - they really deserve this opportunity to update their website so they can make information even more readily available for families.

2011-02-11 17:48:14 UTC

MN Hands and Voices has done a wonderful job in keeping my family informed of what help we have available to us. They are a great resource that we have learned lots from.

2011-02-11 18:45:16 UTC
Denise Angelo

We have lived in California for 2 years now and I cannot tell you how much I miss the community connections that Minnesota Hands and Voices is dedicated to creating for the DHH community.

It is a resource for events, education, programs, political activism, and connecting with other families.

I so wish I had a non-profit dedicated to DHH where we live now.

They are definitely worthy of a new website.

2011-02-11 23:30:58 UTC

MN Hands and Voices helped get the word out about our Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ski and Snowboard Program in the metro area. This announcement enabled us to grow in number of students we serve by at least 25% - that means that more than two dozen DHH students learned to ski or board this year or had fun improving their skills. Thanks MN Hands and Voices!

2011-02-11 18:51:34 UTC
Amy Blank

As a parent of a child with hearing loss, I cannot emphasize enough the need for an organization like MN Hands and Voices. Since most deaf/hard of hearing children are born to HEARING parents, many families are thrust into a world of uncertainty and fear when a child is born with a hearing loss. MN Hands and Voices provides education, guidance, support in this world, helping navigate us and our children to a much brighter future.

2011-02-11 18:58:45 UTC
Diana van Deusen

MN Hands and Voices is an exceptional and unique resource for parents and the professionals who serve them! I always know that the parents I refer to them will be well served and supported! Thanks for considering them for this opportunity!

2011-02-11 19:02:00 UTC
Ty Brady

MN Hands & Voices provides the community and parents with a great resource. This website will assist with ensuring information is available to families and the community in an effective and efficient manner.

Thank you MN Hands & Voices for all you do!!!

2011-02-11 19:20:21 UTC

MN Hands and Voices is a great resource for both families and professionals in the state. A new website will help them continue to share information that is so valuable to this community. Thank you!

2011-02-11 22:38:05 UTC
Melissa Ferrello

Hands and Voices is an amazing resource for families all across Minnesota, that gives them hope, advice, and information. They are much deserving of this website upgrade!

2011-02-14 00:00:39 UTC
T.Ann Golberg

The Parent Guides at MN Hands and Voices are true every day heroes who do so much for other families out of their own passion and sincere wish that every child has the greatest opportunities in their lives. MN Hands and Voices is really MN Hands, Voices and Hearts.

2011-02-14 00:03:52 UTC
Doug Ruiz

MN Hands and Voices is the best kind of support for parents. Direct and compassionate with the focus on what the family needs and how best to help each child. Congratulations on 10 years of serving children.

2011-02-14 12:58:46 UTC
Garrett Gleason

Knowledge is power; person-to-person support is compassion. MN Hands and Voices is the right organization to deliver knowledge and compassion through it’s website. Whatever support you can provide to this wonderful organization is very much appreciated!

2011-02-14 15:59:16 UTC
Ron Adams

Imagine finding out your child has a hearing loss. What would you do? Listen to a friend give you some advice? Ask a doctor? What will your child be facing with something as important as communication? What form of communication will your child use?

Parents of a child that is deaf or hard of hearing need ongoing resources and support Minnesota Hands and Voices is this resource. The help they give assists parents with critical needs. The decisions parents make are crucial in the development of their children. Minnesota Hands and Voices needs this website to better be able to communicate these needs.

2011-02-14 17:17:47 UTC
Connie Keator

Please consider Minnesota Hands & Voices as the recipient of a very much needed, newly designed web site. I cannot think of a more deserving, needier organization for this gift. MH&V serves families with deaf or hard-of-hearing family members who need access to current information about resoures available to them. MH&V's staff is small but so dedicated. A new website to improve communications would be a blessing to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Minnesota!

2011-02-15 16:00:32 UTC
Svetlana's Mom

MN Hands & Voices is a great resource for parents of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children. We have been able to connect with other families in the area and get support even though we live far away from the main office. Having the materials available on the web for access from anywhere in the state at any time would be a great help to families.

2011-02-16 03:45:38 UTC

MN Hands & Voices truly deserves to win this website challenge because they do so much with so little. They serve the whole state of MN with only 3 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) staff! By upgrading their website it will allow the organization to spend more of their valuable time and money on what is really important: supporting families who have children with hearing loss. Please help MN Hands & Voices get what they deserve. It is a small thing to repay for all the wonderful things they do for others. Thank you!

2011-02-16 20:15:31 UTC

Coming from a family with numerous members who have hearing loss, I know that it is important to have up-to-date information available. Minnesota Hands & Voices is a great way to relay this information to everyone who needs it, especially parents in need of help and support. Minnesota Hands & Voices deserve a website update because the parents of children with hearing loss deserve to have the up-to-date information right at their finger tips. Please consider them for a website update as they are very worthy candidates!

2011-02-17 01:47:28 UTC

Hands and Voices does so much with so little! can you imagine a time when you had to call all around to find out how to get help for your child?
so much has changed in 10 years. Now you might find out the day your baby is born that he/she has hearing loss. You hadn't planned on making that journey! where will you go for advice? MN Hands & Voices is the place to go but a better website will definitely make a difference for these children and families. Please consider Hands & Voices - not only are they a Minnesota treasure, but a national leader as well.

2011-02-17 22:17:16 UTC
Melissa Jurek

MN Hands & Voices has been a great support system for myself and my family as we learn more about my 4 1/2 year old daughter's unilateral deafness. We have benefitted from the parent to parent contact, the monthly newsletters, the webinars, and the family get togethers. MN Hands & Voices serves hundreds of families throught MN and we are all greatful for them.

2011-02-18 20:13:29 UTC

An excellent organization that has such a great group of people working for them.

2011-02-21 17:27:34 UTC
Rochester, MN

They do great work and deserve a new website.

2011-02-21 17:27:35 UTC
Rochester, MN

They do great work and deserve a new website.

Our Mission

Minnesota Hands & Voices mission is to build better lives for children who are deaf and hard of hearing by providing parent-to-parent support to families.