Photo of mother holding upset child

About the Program

Observe, Understand and Respond: the O.U.R. Children's Safety Project

We don't like to think about it, but our kids who are deaf or hard of hearing are at a higher risk for abuse, neglect and bullying. As children who might not always be able to communicate easily and fluently, or understand the nuances of conversation with neighbors, caregivers, or strangers, they are at an even higher risk of being victims of someone, somewhere... 

If we can stop that cycle with even one child, one family... our efforts are more than worthwhile. 

Hands & Voices HQ and chapters are working closely with researcher Harold Johnson at Michigan State University to understand the scope of this problem, partner with supporting agencies (who often need to learn more about deafness), and teach ourselves how best to Observe, Understand, and Respond to our children. As a result they have a section of articles addressing this issue. To keep them safe. To keep them free to grow up in the innocence of childhood. 

Video Resources

These videos may help you talk to your children about bullying – the effects, the risks and how to handle it.

What Bullying Is

How Bullying Feels

What You Can Do

Group of women posing in front of quilt

O.U.R. Quilt Project

Child maltreatment is a tough topic to talk about.  Most adults avoid the topic. This avoidance results in a lack of awareness and understanding of maltreatment risk factors and prevention strategies. This project relates to the design, creation and sharing of quilts to provide an informal, ongoing, visually rich, and emotionally comfortable context to discuss, learn, and share how to enhance the safety and success of our children.




What: V(irtual B)OOK- as in a virtual book club When: 1st Monday of the month 1:00 pm MST

The VOOK Club’s mission is to read, evaluate and recommend what we feel to be the most effective resources to help adults use literature as a tool to create a strong foundation for children’s safety by opening up awareness and dialogue around keeping kids safe from abuse and bullying. When we review books our rubric is to find books that we feel would be effective tools around keeping children safe from child abuse and neglect as well as bullying. This includes teaching children about emotions, self-awareness, safety, self esteem and more. We hope that building this foundation will help to create and sustain dialogues for children to have with parents and trusted adults.  Contact Chresta for more information or See our Calendar for details


Kidpower is dedicated to working together to build cultures of caring, respect, and safety for everyone, everywhere. They aim to prepare children, teens, and adults, including those with special needs, to prevent and stop bullying, abuse, harassment, assault, and other emotional, social, or physical violence. Their mission is to teach people of all ages and abilities how to use their power to stay safe, act wisely, and believe in themselves.

Learn more at

•Crisis Text Hotline: Text 741741 – a Crisis Counselor will text back – this is a trained volunteer. If a person identifies themselves as deaf/hh, they will get a specially trained volunteer.