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Illinois Resources

Illinois Hands & Voices Logo black hand with cochlea on palm and Hands & Voices Illiois written underneath

Illinois Hands & Voices, aka IL Families for Hands & Voices (ILHV) is a parent-driven, non-profit organization that supports families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodologies.  They envision a world where children who are deaf and hard of hearing have every opportunity to achieve their full potential.  They hold events and activities throughout the state of IL providing opportunities for children who are deaf and hard of hearing can interact with each other.  These events often provide the opportunity for these children to meet and talk to deaf adults.  Simply click on the ILHV Logo to find out more and don't forget to subscribe to their mailing list while you're there, that way you won't miss out on upcoming events.  Direct questions can be sent to

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The Illinois Guide By Your Side Program (a division of IL Hands & Voices) has partnered with the IL Department of Public Health, you may have already heard from this organization.  Illinois Guide By Your Side (IL-GBYS) provides families with unbiased support.  IL-GBYS does this through specially trained parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. These parents work as “Guides” directly with families who have just learned of their child’s hearing loss.  We have found that families need the unique support that comes from someone else who has walked this path themselves and can share from direct experience and wisdom. This program can also include an option for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Guides (DHH Guides) who are deaf or hard of hearing adults and specially trained to provide support to families.  Simply click on the GBYS logo for more information or contact them directly at

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CHS Youth Connections Program (CHOICES for Parents) is a statewide advisory committee of parents and professionals ensuring that children who are Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing and their families connect with the necessary resources, advocacy, information, services, and support within the home, school, and community.  A parent may request their helpful notebook FREE of charge as a resource tool, the notebook is available in English and Spanish.   


The Illinois Service Resource Center (ISRC) provides behavior support for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or visually impaired in Illinois. Behavior support can be for individual students with challenges, or at the preventive level with classrooms or school programs. ISRC serves students with hearing loss regardless of communication mode.  Learn more about ISRC, including their lending library where you can borrow books and other media about all aspects of deafness and hearing loss from parenting to simply reading a borrowed book to your child completely FREE.  


DSCC (Division of Specialized Care for Children) partner with Illinois families and communities to help children and youth with special healthcare needs connect to services and resources.  How they help you and your child depends on your specific preferences and needs. Their Care Coordinators can support you in the following areas:  Accessing diagnostic tests, Finding specialized medical care, Using insurance & All Kids / Medicaid, Finding resources & information, Developing a care coordination plan, Communicating with doctors, specialists & schools, Preparing for transition, Paying for certain medical expenses.  Some of these require financial qualifications.  


Illinois STAR NET envisions a future where early childhood professionals and families have the supports needed to provide all children with a high quality, equitable education in inclusive environments. STAR NET’s mission is to promote:

  • evidence-based inclusive practices for young children with disabilities.

  • professional development to support educators and families.

  • meaningful child outcomes through innovative and engaging learning experiences.

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The Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) will provide an environment in which students will thrive and succeed to their optimal potential. The Mission of the Illinois School for the Deaf is to engage students in a supportive, safe and nurturing environment to achieve personal excellence academically, socially, physically and emotionally.  The school is located in Jacksonville and is a residential program.  They also offer testing for any child in IL who is deaf/hard of hearing and have an Outreach department that can assist you with advocacy needs, training needs and support.


The vision of the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired is to provide a quality comprehensive education and serve as a statewide resource to students in Illinois with visual impairments assisting them in becoming personally productive and self-sufficient citizens.  ISVI also has an outreach department serving students throughout Illinois who are visually impaired.


Early Intervention is a statewide program that provides supports and services for families to help their children under age 3 meet developmental milestones.


The Early Intervention Clearing House provides information on supporting your child who has a disability. From lending libraries to training opportunities, the Clearing House has something for you.

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