EARLY HEARING DETECTION AND INTERVENTION VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
MARCH 2-5, 2021
(Virtually the same conference, without elevators, airplane tickets, or hotel room keys)
EHDI FAMILY LEADERSHIP AWARD
In my 18 year career as a teacher for the Deaf specializing in Early Intervention and Early Childhood, I have had the absolute honor of knowing Amanda Hvass. I was the specialist working with Amanda and her family, providing home visits and supports for five years. As the mother of a child with intersecting disabilities, Amanda worked tirelessly to advocate for her son and his needs. She is fierce, she is bold, she is a gentle listener, and friend. For these reasons, when Lane County needed a Guide By Your Side parent guide, to step up and really create a program here to benefit families, Amanda was the first person I thought of. She became our parent guide. There had historically been a strained relationship with the GBYS program and the DHH program in this area. Amanda effortlessly stitched our programs together with kindness and professionalism. She established a parent network here that became more than just a system of support. They became friends. Their children became friends. The families met monthly for parent nights, often for picnics, and truly became something remarkable. It was an honor to be their home visitor and see these beautiful organic connections emerge. This was all Amanda. She made every opportunity for parents something where they could let their guard down, learn a little, laugh a lot, and just exist together in the unique space they held as parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. When she had the opportunity to advance in her career as the state coordinator, I was so thrilled for her, as well as more than a little sad for our county. Her shoes are hard to fill. Amanda and I are still in touch at least weekly, as I am now the administrator of our regional program. She's professional when she needs to be. She's a friend when she needs to be. She's a mom when she needs to be. She's a powerful force for good always. Amanda deserves this recognition for all of the incredible things she's done for our families in Lane County and now for families statewide. Her dedication to supporting families with children who are deaf is unparalleled. I am happy to answer any questions the committee may have about Amanda and our work together. She deserves recognition for the tireless work she's done in our state.