Melissa Meck
Founder and Co-President

Hearing Mom of 2 girls

Ainsley, profoundly deaf with bilateral cochlear implants

Dagny, hearing

It takes a team of dedicated volunteers to make sure our Chapter is reaching out to as many communities so families everywhere have access support. We're fortunate to have some of the best dedicating their time, energy, and expertise to our cause.
Gabi Beaumont
Hearing Mom to Carys, profoundly deaf with bilateral cochlear implants
ASL user
Brenda Perrodin
​Deaf Mom of 2 children

Emanuel, profoundly deaf

Emma, hard of hearing

Parent/Infant Teacher at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, Washington , DC

Erin Buck-Skees


Outreach Coordinator, Maryland School for the Deaf 

About Us

Our Board of Directors


Contact us to connect you with a family in the area!

Contact us to receive copies of the Communicator! Check our the resources page to find local support in the area.

Family in focus...

Marny Helfrich

Mom of Gracie

Profoundly Deaf

Adopted from China


Check here for local events in the DC Metro Area...

May 20 - ASL Interpreted performance of Robin Hood at Imagination Stage. Use promo code MDDCHANDS for a 20% discount

Louise Rollins

Early Intervention Teacher for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children in Montgomery County
CODA (​Child Of Deaf Adults)

Local Events

"What works for your child

     is what makes the choice right!"

Maryland/DC Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our outreach activities, parent/professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children to reach their highest potential.


Maryland/DC Hands & Voices

Ainsley was born on May 29th 2006.  She was a wide eyed beautiful 8+ pound baby girl who we would soon discover was also profoundly deaf.   While adjusting to being new parents we were also trying to comprehend the significance of a failed New Born Hearing screening.  She failed three times before we left the hospital with a follow up appointment scheduled six weeks later.  Not wanting to wait six weeks, we sought out another practiced that would be able to help provide answers.  Early on we were very new to hearing screenings and had no idea what to expect.  The first doctor passed her with flying colors. To this day we have no idea why the doctor lied to us that day.   A week later the practice surprisingly "lost" one of the reports and we were sent to their office for a follow up.  At this appointment, another Audiologist said she failed with both ears and she would have never passed her before.  

We then had to wait... at six weeks we went into a neighboring hospital for a sedated ABR, at which point they asked us to come back since they were only able to completed half the test!  At this point we contact another practice where the ENT was able to get us a quick appointment.  Knowing that the earlier the better, we were grateful the doctor was able to get us in within weeks.  At 4 months she was fitted with hearing aids! 

We had every service provider possible and exposed Ainsley to ASL and spoken English.  Knowing how important it would be to communicate with extended family, we sought out cochlear implant surgery.  June 2007 Ainsley received her first implant, and almost 2 years later her second. 

Today Ainsley is a happy rising 4th grader who loves to laugh!  She is an avid reader and has chosen spoken English as her primary language! 

The journey was difficult and we are forever grateful to the parents, teachers, and interventionists we met along the way who helped Ainsley become the girl she is today!