North Dakota Hands & Voices (ND H&V) is a non-profit, parent driven organization dedicated to supporting families of children with hearing loss without a bias regarding communication modes or methodology. We have created the ND H&V High 5 Award to recognize and thank the educators that make a difference in the lives of our children with hearing loss. Parents nominate professionals that have made a difference in their child’s lives, and we award a professional annually. This year, the 5th Annual High 5 Award was presented to Paula Fitzgerald, Teacher of the Deaf, with South Valley Special Education!
Paula, along with parents and professionals from North Dakota and South Dakota, was in attendance at the Midwest Conference on Deaf Education in Sioux Falls, SD in June. Our board felt this would be the perfect opportunity to honor her work among her peers. Melinda, a parent ND H&V board member, presented Paula with the award during the conference.
Paula was nominated by a parent, and ultimately awarded by our chapter, for her outstanding work in the field of deaf education. Specifically, her nominating parent highlighted Paula’s determination to ensuring that their family’s needs and concerns were her top priority – guaranteeing that the family was able to decide what was best for their son’s intervention. She explored a variety of ways to work with their child, and was open to change when a particular method wasn’t working. She has been instrumental in educating others about the impact of hearing loss and ensuring their child’s needs were understood. Thank you, Paula, for your dedication to families in our state!