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 as the Director of Contract Compliance 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 last year. Addie is a college student and she is fluent in ASL. Her energy and commitment to the mission of NECD is refreshing.
Fourth Annual Summer BBQ We held another Summer BBQ In July 2018 at Flamig Farm in Simsbury, CT. The owners of the farm graciously donated the space to us for this event and made available the grounds including a petting zoo, and provided a hayride for our guests. This event also included a raffle and silent auction. We also played Bingo and had door prizes this year. The weather was perfect (although the forecast was for rain) and the hot dogs and hamburgers were grilling. All in attendance had a great time. We had many chances to make new friends and to further introduce our agency to the community.
New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. continues to develop and modify its strategic plan for the forthcoming years. We anticipate an increase in community events both social and educational.
We are working towards obtaining a brick-and-mortar location for the agency from which we can begin to provide increased services.
This year, New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. provided advocacy to students at a large US University regarding the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through communication with the University’s administration, we advocated for Assistive Technologies in order to assure safety and appropriate accommodations for a number of Deaf and HoH students.
This year we began our Case Management services. We provided individuals with assistance in attaining treatment and other basic needs including assisting one individual in obtaining a cell phone.
We provided holiday food and basic needs baskets to 4 families inclusive of 11 people at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We also provided supplemental food assistance to 3 families (9 people) who needed assistance.
We began to develop partnerships with other providers of services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. We had a meeting with one provider to discuss the agency, the challenges in service provision for the Deaf in Connecticut and the needs for expanding services for this population. This provider also referred a number of families to us for assistance.
We received a referral from another provider requesting our assistance in working with a family with a Deaf individual.
NECD, Inc. has completed our annual appeal letter writing campaign. That, along with the donations from our picnic brought in $1605.13 dollars from our generous and supportive private contributors. We also has a $100 donation from the Network for Good.
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.
This year we initiated an account with Amazon Smile. Purchases by consumers from Amazon who identify NECD, Inc. as their chosen non-profit allow Amazon to donate a portion of your eligible purchases to NECD.
We are committed to maintaining our web site, twitter account and Facebook page.
We have begun to send out periodic email newsletters to our constituents with updates, holiday wishes and announcements about goings-on at NECD.
News from the Board
This year we have had some change to the NECD, Inc. Board. We unfortunately had to say good bye to some of our committed board members due to other personal responsibilities and commitments, but we look forward to welcoming new members to the NECD, Inc. Board.
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!
Leanne M. Dillian
Annette and David Dolan
Eric D. Leckfor
Father Joseph Looney
Sylvia and Ralph Memolo
Bill and Betty Cheney
Daniel and Kristen King
Ann Z. Leventhal and the Honorable Jon Newman
Laurie Meotti Schmid
Drs. Jacob Ossar and Mary Landrigan- Ossar
Don and Janet Smith
Dick and Helen Weingart
We would like to thank Flamig Farm and Nevin and Julie Christensen for their generous donation of their property, facilities and petting zoo for our 2018 summer picnic.
We would also like to thank the following businesses for their generous donations.
Bertuccis of Avon
Boston Red Sox
CT Science Center
Edible Arrangements of Avon
Emmons Tropical Fish and Ponds
Foxwoods Resort and Casino
Hartford Yard Goats
Mystic Marinelife Aquarium
Network for Good
Stop and Shop
Beginning balance $1360.09
FY18-19 Donations $1605.13
Corporate donations $100.00
Secretary of State $100
Postal costs (PO Box and stamps) $289.00
Other administrative $31.95
Grant station $119.00
Web Site expenses $182.95
Holiday baskets $457.55
Other food for families $352.73
TOTALS: $3065.22 $2018.78
Ending balance: $1046.44