Guide By Your Side

Illinois Guide By Your Side (GBYS) is brought to you by:

Illinois Hands & Voices 


The Illinois Newborn Hearing Program (IL EHDI)

Working Together To Support Illinois Families

Guide By Your Side (GBYS) is a program that provides:

  • Unbiased information
  • One on one support and resources
  • Trained Parent Guides to talk and/or meet with you.

What are Parent Guides?

  • Parent Guides are adults who have children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
  • They provide unbiased information and resources regarding communication, educational and technological choices.
  • They help families identify their options…not tell them which options to choose.
  • They support families.  Support is all about listening first…not judging, and it’s always done without bias.
  • They help families navigate through the many systems and services available in Illinois.
  • They work as a team with professionals offering a well rounded care system for families.

Want to know more about Parent Support and it’s importance?

Who are the Parent Guides?



Meet the Guides 

click above for a list of all Parent Guides currently working in the state of Illinois.

Who is Eligible to Participate in the GBYS Program?

  • Families who have a child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing or who you suspect has a hearing loss.
  • Families that live in Illinois.

How Much Does the GBYS Program Cost Me?

  • This program is free to participating families.

How Does the GBYS Program Benefit Me and My Family?

  • One-on-One consultation via phone, email or home visits with a regional Parent Guide.
  • The opportunity to network with other families.
  • Notification of, and opportunities to participate in, local and statewide educational events.

Interested in the program? (complete the fields below and we will be in contact with your soon)

Supporting GBYS

  • Shop With Scrip: purchase gift cards online for major retailers and help us raise money for GBYS (www.shopwithscrip.com)
  • Sponsor a Family: By giving a personal donation of $100 you will help sponsor a family through the process of the GBYS Program. Personal donations of any amount are also welcome.

A large portion of funding for GBYS comes from various fundraising events and private donations. If you are interested in participating in any of the following ways please contact the GBYS Program Coordinator.

Read our collaborative Hands & Voices and GBYS Newsletter: Illinois E.A.R.S.

IL Guide By Your Side “Calls for ALL” 

  • Monthly calls are provided for free from IL Guide By Your Side
  • Calls are intended for families who have children with hearing loss, professionals are encouraged to attend as well so they can stay on top of the information they provide to their clients.
  • You can find out about the latest and greatest in technology, legal issues, advocacy, medical issues and many many more.
  • IL Hands & Voices will post the Calls for ALL so you are aware of when they happen, make sure you register with our site to get these postings by adding your email by clicking HERE
  • What happens if you miss the call?  You are in luck, you can access past calls by selecting from a long list of topics by CLICKING HERE.  Select your topic and listen to the call at your convenience.

Contact Information for the GBYS Program

I am a parent and I would like to contact you to:

  • Receive more information about the program.
  • Be connected with a parent guide.
  • Find out more information on how I can be a Parent Guide.
  • Support the Program.

I am a provider/professional and I would like to contact you to:

If you are a parent or a professional taking the next step is easy. Simply contact the GBYS Program Coordinator, Carrie Balian at (866) 655-4588.

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