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New England Center for the Deaf, Inc.

Annual Report 2013



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 Deaf –competent social services and thus NECD, Inc. was formed.  The founding members, Tracy Knight and Joseph Sisk formed their board and this was the beginning. 


Since the formation of the Board and the Incorporation in March of 2011, we have moved forward in our development.  Our Board currently consists of 7 members, most of who have been involved since the inception of NECD, Inc.  The 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 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 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 20 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.  In addition to her efforts in the creation and development of NECD, Inc., Tracy is currently working full time as a Case Manager.  Prior to this, Tracy was the Administrator of a small non-profit agency and it was there that she became familiar with grant writing and fundraising.  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.  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 over 20 years of experience in the field of human services including over 16 years of management experience.  In addition to his responsibilities at NECD, Inc., Joe currently work full time as the Director of a Clinical Assessment unit at another social service agency in Connecticut. 


William Gilbert: Bill attended Boston College for his undergraduate work as well as his MSW.  He subsequently earned his Licensed Clinical Social Worker credential and then his Specialty Certificate in Substance Abuse.   He holds the position of the Vice-Chair on the NECD, Inc. Board.  Bill has almost 2 decades of management experience in the field of social services and has been a Senior Manager and agency Vice President for many of those years at a substance abuse counseling agency.  Bill currently works as the Clinical Director for a large program in Connecticut. 


Daniel Millstein:  Dan holds his JD degree and had spent many years practicing law.  He recently decided on a change of careers and he entered the field of social services.  Dan is currently attending Fordham University and is working on his Master in Social Work degree.   He holds the position as Treasurer on the NECD, Inc. Board and has done so since its inception. 


Maria Weingart: Maria has been connected to the Deaf community for over 20 years.  She is fluent in American Sign Language and is strongly committed to the welfare of the Deaf individuals in Connecticut.  Maria also has had personal experience with the Deaf community being the mother of a Deaf son.  Maria holds the position of Secretary on the NECD, Inc. board.   


Christopher Knight, Jr.:  Chris (Cj) is a Director on the NECD, Inc. board.  He is hearing impaired 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. 


Ruth Ennis:  We were happy to welcome Ruth as our newest Board member this year.  Ruth has her Master degree in Education and currently works in special education with hearing impaired students in the public school system.  Ruth is the mother of a hearing impaired daughter and is very committed to the mission of NECD, Inc. 



New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. held its first annual Holiday Basket distribution program.  We distributed baskets to 5 needy families in Connecticut for their holidays.  The baskets included food which had been purchased though the generosity of Big Y and Stop and Shop who provided gift cards allowing us to purchase food for the families.  Stop and Shop also donated reusable shopping bags which we used to deliver the food.  We were able to provide these families with turkeys and hams, all the necessary ingredients to make the side dishes of green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, milk and chocolate milk, stuffing and pies for deserts. 

Through the great generosity of our private contributors, we also purchased holiday gifts for the children and for the parents.  We purchased stereo systems and bicycles for the children and gloves, scarves, and other surprises for the adults. 

During this year, a number of our board members participated with the Connecticut Fair Housing Commission in a study looking at discrimination of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in the area of housing.  The results unfortunately showed that discrimination does exist when Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals are looking for housing.  



New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. continues to develop and modify its strategic plan for the forthcoming years.  To assist us in meeting this plan, we applied for three grants through private foundations.  Although we did not receive the grant funding in response to our requests, we continue to seek out funding opportunities which will allow us to provide services. 



NECD, Inc. has completed our first annual appeal letter writing campaign which netted $3243 dollars from our generous and supportive private contributors.  Our second annual appeal is in full swing now and we hope to do as well.   

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.  It is through GrantStation that we became aware of one of the grants for which we applied and we continue to scour the opportunities for appropriate and feasible options.    



New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. has entered the electronic age.  We have a Facebook account which, by the end of 2013 had almost 60 likes and it is growing every day.  Many of the ‘likes’ are international individuals and Deaf agencies from across the globe.  We can be found on Facebook at New England Center for the Deaf.  Through Facebook we are able to communicate with potential constituents and begin marketing. 

We have begun to explore options for setting up an NECD, Inc. web site to be located at  Our previous option couldn’t happen so we will be looking elsewhere.  This will be a crucial element for allowing us to communicate with potential clients, referral sources and donors about our agency development progress, NECD, Inc. fundraising and meet-and-greet events, and provide a portal for donations through our PayPal account. 




We would like to recognize Daniel Milstein, our board treasurer who was elected the NECD, Inc. Corporate Compliance Officer.  He will assure that the billing and fiscal areas are maintained and function with the highest level of integrity. 

We have begun to develop an NECD, Inc. library of Deaf resources relating to treatment and social services.  We have purchased a number of books on Deaf-specific recovery and relevant clinical handbooks such as the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition.  

We have begun to develop agency policies and forms including operations and personnel policies to assure that we are ready to begin providing services and hiring staff once funding allows.  We have also developed our Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Manual inclusive of all the required policies and forms. 

We have developed a “tag line” for our agency. 

New England Center for the Deaf, Inc.  “Communicating a better future. . . . “





New England Center for the Deaf, Inc.

2013 Contributors


The Board of Directors and Management of NECD, Inc. wishes to thank all of those people who have helped us with contributions provided during our fundraising campaigns this year.  Without the generosity of you we would not have been able to facilitate the building of NECD, Inc.  Thank you all.



Supporters                    0-$99

Mark and Anne Brayman

Eleanor Cox

Arthur Gilbert

Harold Levesque

David and Dawn Levesque

Pete and Kathleen MacDonald

Anne and Craig Staebner

Hale Staebner

Sandy and Ernie Staebner



Sponsors              $100-$499

Linda and Seymour Adelman

Laura, John and Sylvia Catana

Bill and Betty Cheyney

Deacon and Mrs. Philip and Linda Hayes

Daniel and Kristen King, Woofer Audio Video Electronics

Howard and Susan Levinson

Ann Z. Levinthal and the Honorable John Newman

Ed and Terri Natoli

Drs. Jacob and Mary Ossar

Dr. Naomi Ossar

Henry and Sarah Rianhard

Kathy Schoepfer, St. Johns Altar Society

Don and Janet Smith

Karen and Andrew Stockton


Donors                 $500-$999


Patrons                $1000-$4999

Sidney and Irene Sisk


Benefactors          $5000-$9999


Endowers            $10,000+


Donations of Goods


Corporate Sponsorship

Big Y

Stop and Shop

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