Jaimi Lard signs with a Grafton school system nurse during presentation


What is NEC?

(NEC) represents a consortium of consultants, state and regional partners who  share a commitment to evidenced-based approaches to support children and  youth with combined vision and hearing loss (deafblindness). Serving the states of  Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, we are  committed to supporting families, professionals, and the wider community in the  delivery of services that result in improved educational outcomes. Funded by the federal  Office of Special Education, and with a regional office at Perkins School for the  Blind, NEC personnel provide services to a variety of programs and agencies, with  the primary purpose of building state and local capacity to serve children and  youth with combined vision and hearing loss.

Our Vision

To improve educational outcomes for children with combined vision and hearing loss, through  the integration of effective practices within educational systems.

Our Mission

To lead, promote, and foster the development and implementation of Effective  Instruction and Approaches, within home, school, community and work  environments. NEC aspires to improve awareness and expertise in combined sensory loss,  prioritizing optimal assessment, instruction, and service delivery.

Our Values

  • Collaboration with local, state, and regional partners (agencies, families, and professionals) to improve identification, referral, and service delivery for children with combined vision and hearing loss and their families.
  • Engagement of families in all aspects of educational planning and assessment.
  • Trained personnel with the skills necessary to conduct valid assessment, provide  effective instruction, and perform consistent progress monitoring (educators, para/interveners, and related service providers).
  • Use of Effective Instruction and Approaches to serve a wide range of children  with a variety of sensory abilities and conditions.
  • Systems that promote and support professional development for service  providers ((infants to age 21).
  • Sharing and leveraging of local, state, and regional expertise, and resources.

Core Values


NEC values excellence in education, practice, and research. We are  committed to upholding the highest clinical and ethical standards, professional  accountability, and integrity. 

Evidence-Based Services

NEC evaluates and promotes evidence to improve  professional practice. We are committed to upholding practice standards in early  intervention, school-based instruction, and transition planning, and applying this  knowledge and expertise to make the best decisions. We strongly support the use  of quality measurement to improve instruction for all children (infants to young  adulthood).

Formal Education

NEC promotes the certification of practitioners (teachers,  interveners, related service personnel) based on completion of recognized and  accredited education programs. We support interprofessional education with  other professionals to improve educational services, and develop leaders in the  fields of combined vision and hearing loss, sensory loss with additional disabilities,  and multiple disabilities.  

Family Engagement

NEC values the involvement of families and caregivers in key  aspects of educational planning and evaluation. Families are encouraged to  advocate effectively for their children, using information from learning  opportunities and networking with other families.


Through a lens that promotes a culture of inclusion in which diverse  identities are respected, sought after, and embraced, NEC shall carry forward its  objectives so that constituents may rise to leadership roles, including families and professionals. This encompasses, but is not limited to: race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, physical and intellectual ability, learning style, nationality, citizenship, age, professional background, and degree.


Our members build partnerships with families and others by providing  support in a shared decision-making process. To further integrate the use of  effective intervention into the educational system we collaborate with stakeholders, agencies, and advocates in order to guide identification and referrals, and provide optimal services to as many children as possible.


NEC represents family and professional voices and opinions. We campaign on behalf of children, families, our partners, and educational  professionals to eliminate disparities, and increase access to evidence-based,  quality services. This includes the promotion of standards for continuing  competency; resources for learning and professional development; and increasing  awareness of the needs of learners with combined vision and hearing loss  (deafblindness).