21st ANNUAL EARLY HEARING DETECTION & INTERVENTION CONFERENCE

March 13 - 15, 2022 • Cincinnati, OH

Award Winners 2009

2009 Award Winners

The 2009 winners of the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence are Leeanne Seaver and Janet DesGeorges

Leeanne and Janet's passionate commitment to the advancement of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention and to families with children who have hearing loss is beyond remarkable. Harnessing the power of the "parent experience," they created a network of parent-professionals qualified to provide unbiased support to families. This dynamic duo expanded a thriving Colorado program to today's national and international Hands & Voices organization. Thirty six states, British Columbia Canada, the Philippines, and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands now have an approved or start-up chapter. Seeing another need, Janet and Leeanne instigated the Global Coalition of Parents of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children, currently partnering with international organizations to establish standards for family support in newborn hearing identification and intervention services. Most noteworthy is that Leeanne and Janet established Hands & Voices with meager resources combined with much personal sacrifice. Through ingenuity and determined relationship building, they leveraged modest funds to build an extensive network.

Leeanne and Janet provide consultation to virtually every aspect of the EHDI process. They support and often spearhead efforts at NCHAM, CDC, Marion Downs, NICHQ, as well as mentoring state Hands & Voices' chapters in how to contribute and advocate for families within the EHDI process. They contributed to the development of the Ski Hi Curriculum, JDSE Author's Corner, the Investing in Family Support Conference and more.

Admiration for both women is abundant. Teresa Kazemir offers, "Leeanne and Janet do not have the word "can't" in their vocabulary. They welcome challenges and work hard to find a way. They inspire us. They are truly making the world a better place." Lisa Kovacs shares, "Hands & Voices offers me the opportunity for meaningful and rewarding work. I attribute my motivation and determination to these two ladies. Without their guidance and leadership, I would not be doing what I do today." "If Hands & Voices had not been born fourteen years ago, we wouldn't have Guide By Your Side training, the Communicator, the parent support network that responds to each referred family, nor the new national standard of inviting a parent of a child with hearing loss on any committee or task force that serves such children," states Sara Kennedy.

We would like to congratulate Leeanne and Janet on winning the 2009 Maxon Award. We cannot think of a more fitting expression of gratitude shared by the thousands of parents whose lives they have touched.

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2009 Nominees