New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. originated in 2011 as a result of the tragic loss of a young man in the Deaf community. This loss illuminated the need for comprehensive Deaf –competent social services and thus NECD, Inc. was formed. The founding members, Tracy Knight and Joseph Sisk recruited the Board and thus New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. was created.
Since the formation of the board and the Incorporation in March of 2011, we have moved forward in our development. In 2012 we were granted our 501 C 3, Federal recognition as a non-profit agency. Our Board currently consists of 4 members, most of who have been involved since the inception of NECD, Inc. Our Board members are very committed to our mission and come to us from a variety of backgrounds. All board members bring specific strengths and benefits to the Board and to the agency.
We are very proud to introduce the current NECD, Inc. Board of Directors.
Tracy Knight: Tracy has her BSW from the University of Saint Joseph (formerly St. Joseph College) and her MSW from Fordham University. She recently earned her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credential. She is a co-founder of NECD, Inc. and is the mother of a hearing impaired son. Tracy has been connected with the Deaf communities in Missouri, Kansas and Connecticut for almost 25 years. During this time, Tracy served on the Region 5 Council of Developmental Disabilities, the Southwest Missouri Task force on Autism and is a former member of the Parent Advisory Committee at the American School for the Deaf. Tracy is the board President and the Chief Executive Officer of NECD, Inc.
Joseph Sisk: Joe has his BA in Psychology from Bard College and his MA in Psychology from The New School for Social Research. He has subsequently earned his License as a Professional Counselor and he is a Nationally Certified Counselor and holds his Specialty Certificate in Substance Abuse. He is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Joe is a co-founder of NECD, Inc. and he is the Chairman of the Board and is the Chief Operating Officer for NECD, Inc. Joe has almost 30 years of experience in the field of human services. In addition to his responsibilities at NECD, Inc., Joe currently work full time at another social service agency in Connecticut.
Christopher Knight, Jr.: Chris (Cj) is a Director on the NECD, Inc. board. He is Deaf and is fluent in American Sign Language. After growing up in Missouri and being educated in the mainstream through elementary school, his family moved to Kansas where he attended the Kansas State School for the Deaf. He graduated from middle school at KSD. Chris came to CT where he attended the American School for the Deaf and graduated with his high school diploma. Since graduation he has obtained his veterinary assistant certificate from Tunxis Community College. He currently works at a local farm caring for the animals and maintaining the facility.
Addie Obrzut: Addie is our newest Board member who joined us in 2018. Addie is a college student and she is fluent in ASL. Her energy and commitment to the mission of NECD is refreshing.
We provided food baskets to a number of families for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. We also provided some support and resources to a man whose elderly Deaf parents needed some additional services.
However, due to CoViD-19, our summer event had to be cancelled.
The board of the New England Center for the Deaf, Inc., has entered into the formal process of developing a Strategic Plan. This is an involved process but one that we are all taking very seriously, and we are excited about where this process will lead us over the next few years. Through this process we expect to develop directed and solid goals which will provide the guidance for additional development and progress.
This year, NECD, Inc. contacted both State and Federal legislators as a means to introduce our agency to them and in an attempt to seek out funding. We presented a proposal for a small re-allocation of funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be provided annually to 20 new non-profit agencies for 3 years in an attempt to encourage the development of non-profits in the United Sates. This would strengthen the communities and thereby the Country as a whole and ultimately decrease their costs in other areas.
NECD, Inc. also recognized a number of companies for their inclusion of Deaf individuals in their advertising. This shows a strong forward progression towards inclusion of the Deaf community into the mainstream.
NECD, Inc. contacted Starbucks in an attempt to encourage the development of a Deaf-friendly store at their Bishop Corner location. We did have some back and forth communications and will continue to follow-up.
NECD, Inc. has completed our annual appeal letter writing campaign. That, along with the donations from our raffles and silent auctions brought in $1577.00 dollars from our generous and supportive private contributors. This includes our participation in the Big Y Community Bag Program for the month of August. NECD, Inc. was chosen by the Avon CT store as the recipient of $1 for each reusable bag sold during that month.
NECD, Inc. renewed our membership to GrantStation. This is a service that monitors new grants that are available and send a weekly email to the subscribers with potential grant opportunities.
We are committed to maintaining our web site, twitter account and Facebook page. Our Web site is current with news and assistance throughout the year. We have added a section on our homepage for CoViD-19 information and services as well as links to this information in ASL.
This year we spent a great deal of time contacting realtors in hopes of obtaining a donated property to our agency. We also contacted a number of agencies whose sole purpose is to repurpose property for non-profits.
New England Center for the Deaf, Inc.
The Board of Directors and Management of NECD, Inc. wishes to thank all of those people and businesses, large and small, who have helped us with financial contributions allowing us to assist individuals and families and who provided and goods for our picnic, raffle and silent auction this year. Without your generosity, we would not have been able to facilitate the building of, and the continued life of NECD, Inc. Thank you all!
Jerry and Kim Cavanna
Father Joseph Looney
Wallace ‘Pete’ and Kathleen MacDonald
Sylvia and Ralph Memolo
William and Elizabeth Cheney
Elizabeth and Michael Cronin
Shirley and Thomas Desrosier
Daniel and Kristen King
We would like to thank Big Y of Avon, CT for selecting us as the recipient for the Community Bag Program for August.
Beginning balance $1046.44
Carry over from 2019 $3.78
FY19-20 Personal Donations $955
Big Y (Community Bag Project) $293.00
Stop and Shop (Bag card Project) $5.00
Amazon Smile $5.00
Secretary of State (annual filing) $50.00
Postal costs (PO Box and stamps) $223
Grant station $139
Web Site expenses $182.95
Board member recruitment $52.50
Holiday baskets $361.77
Other food for families
TOTALS: $ 2627.22 $ 1181.93
Ending balance: $ 1445.29