MARCH 2-5, 2021

(Virtually the same conference, without elevators, airplane tickets, or hotel room keys)


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Amanda Schneider

Amanda started her journey as Parent of a D/HH child with her son Jacob's referred newborn hearing screen shortly after birth. She and her son's providers followed the EHDI 1,3,6 protocols precisely. Amanda joined Michigan Hands & Voices as Parent Guide for the Guide by Your Side Program (GBYS) in 2016, while continuing to volunteer for her local School's Deaf Program, PTO. Her passion and organizational skills recognized; she was quickly entrusted as the GBYS Coordinator. According to Janel Frost, Executive Director of MI H&V, and the first recipient of this award:Amanda fills a role in our organization that only she could. Her love for organization, data, numbers and change is like no other. Amanda has this way of being able to put pieces together, make sense of it and share it with others in a way everyone can understand. Her work makes things we do go from good to great. Michigan Hands & Voices has improved in our quality of services and overall organization due to Amanda. She has a passion for improving things and in the end, that means families get better services and care. I cannot think of a better deserving person for this award. She exceeds in every area of work in this field. The combination of her working skills plus her passion for helping others, makes her the perfect candidate for this award. Amanda is a kind, respectable person who those that work with her enjoy being around.

    In addition to her role as GBYS Coordinator Amanda:
  • Spearheaded the Kent County - EHDI Collaborative Learning Community Initiative.
  • Created & implemented the Covid Modifications of doing online Guide by Your Side visits.
  • Provided input from parents of D/HH children at the State's Not Without Us survey in for Michiganders who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind.
  • Provides guidance to all EHDI work on the parent perspectives on all EHDI publications, reports, evaluations, surveys and needs assessments.
  • Provided technical assistance/expertise for an inclusive EHDI Advisory Online meeting for Parents and D/HH mentors to access captioning on Zoom.

From Beth Rice, Michigan Department of Education, Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO): Amanda also provides perspective, insight, and feedback as a parent liaison for MDE- LIO. Within this role, Amanda plans family and student events, contributes to professional development events for school personnel, and presents during webinars and in-person events. Amanda's leadership skills are displayed in everything she does with confidence and grace. In fall of 2020, Amanda played a key role as a contributor to MDE-LIO's "Michigan Communication Plan for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing". Amanda's perspective as a parent allowed her to provide feedback, comments, and structure to the documents that were invaluable. Following the release of the document, Amanda lead or co-lead multiple presentations to educate both families and school personnel on the benefits of using the Communication Plan. I hope you can give Amanda serious consideration for this well-deserved award.