Family Events and Resources

A variety of virtual and in-person networking for the families of children registered with NEC. Learn about various topics and connect with other parents.

NEC Storytime Series

You’re invited to join family story time, a family-only online space for story time and crafts! Each story time will feature 45 minutes of story and songs, followed by a 15-minute craft session.

Storytime is FREE and you will receive a box with all of the needed craft supplies. The program will be recorded and can be viewed at a different time once you are registered with the group.

Location: Virtual Zoom meeting

Family Connections

Mindfulness & Parenting Tips

We offer opportunities for our families to engage in fun community events and meet other families who have a child who is deafblind.  

Date: November 14 Time: 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT

Family Connections

Estate Planning & Advocacy

We offer opportunities for our families to engage in fun community events and meet other families who have a child who is deafblind.  

Date: January 16 Time: 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT

Family Connections

Easy Vacation Ideas

We offer opportunities for our families to engage in fun community events and meet other families who have a child who is deafblind.  

Date: February 6 Time: 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT

Professional Development

Paraprofessional/Intervener Training Program

Paraprofessionals working with children and youth with combined vision and hearing impairment (deafblindness) need specialized training in order to support instruction and learning. The Paraprofessional/Intervener Training will provide personnel with foundational knowledge in working with this unique population, including a final para/intervener certificate. 

What is an Intervener? An intervener is a person who works consistently one-to-one with an individual who is deafblind to help them gather information, develop and use communication skills, and establish relationships. 

Target Audience: 

*Note – This training program is for individuals working directly with a deafblind student(s) in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont.  

  • Paraprofessional
  • Ed Tech
  • Teacher Assistant/Classroom Aide
  • 1:1 Personnel (i.e., parent, nursing, interpreter, home health aide, respite provider, babysitter/nanny) 

Modules are hosted by a Facilitator and participants will be provided support and feedback during engagement in each module. The modules can be completed at a time most convenient for you and at your own pace.

Fall Cohort

Paraprofessional/Intervener Training Program

Sign up to join our Fall Trainings Cohort!

The kickoff meeting will take place on

October 26,
4:00 – 5:00 PM

Session will be recorded to shared with those who are unable to attend.

NEC Transition For Success Initiative – Virtual Webinar Series

Transition planning for young deafblind adults requires an organized team approach, involving the student, family, and team. NEC’s Transition Team for Success Initiative offers a virtual webinar series for families, professionals, and agencies to address transition planning.

*Additional coaching is available to teams who commit to completing Transition Action Plans. 

Targeted Outcomes

  • Person-centered planning incorporated in the student’s educational program  
  • Family engagement supported throughout planning
  • Identification of supports and services for Deafblind students, provided by state and national agencies, including Pre Ets opportunities
  • Knowledge of assessment, program development, and implementation strategies 
  • To learn more or inquire about the team process, please contact  [email protected] 

Session 1

Transition Planning Kickoff: Successful Transition Planning for Young Adults with Combined Vision & Hearing Loss

November 28 3:15-4:30 PM EDT

Session 2

Ingredients for a Transition-Focused Educational Program

January 9 3:15-4:30 PM EDT

Session 3

Strategies & Models for Vocational Experiences

February 6 3:15-4:30 PM EDT

Session 4

Daily Living Skills and Expanded Core Curriculum

March 19 3:15-4:30 PM EDT

Session 5

Community Connections and Recreation

April 16 3:15-4:30 PM EDT

Session 6

End of Year Celebration of Achievements

May 14 3:15-4:30 PM EDT

Fall 2023 Virtual Series: Practical Information and Strategies to Support Learners who are Deafblind

Do you want to learn practical strategies to work with children who have combined vision and hearing loss (deafblindness)? 

Are you working with children who have extensive support needs and sensory loss?

NEC’s Fall Virtual Series offers practical, need-to-know information essential for providers working with children who are deafblind or at risk. These sessions are a wonderful opportunity for teams and providers to learn effective instructional strategies and receive follow-up coaching to support the implementation of high-quality practices. Participants will engage with other colleagues and share ideas.

Each session will focus on a specific topic and be led by experts in deafblindness, blindness/visual impairment, and deafness/hard of hearing.

Audience: TVIs, TODs, SLPs, OTs, PTs, Parents, Special Education and General Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Interveners, Administrators, and Agency Personnel

Professional Development Certificate provided for full attendance.

Facilitators: Tracy Evans Luiselli, Brenda Allair, Helene Gallagher, and Dr. Susan Bruce
*Certificate Provided Upon Successful Completion

Session 1

An Overview of Deafblindness, Universal Design for Learning & Instructional Strategies: What Can I Do Today? 

Facilitators: Tracy Evans Luiselli, Brenda Allair, Helene Gallagher

September 27 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT

Topics: The Range of Children who are Deafblind, Application of UDL Principles, and Instructional Checklist (Including Wait Time, Hand-Under-Hand, Consistency/Predictability, Activity Based Learning, Repetition & Reframing, Responsiveness and Building Trusting Relationships, Optimal Sensory Environments for Learning, Concept Development, Importance of Experience and Authentic Choice-Making)

Session 2

Strategies to Support Visual and Auditory Access in the Classroom

Facilitators: Tracy Evans Luiselli, Brenda Allair, Helene Gallagher

October 5 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm EDT

Topics:  Learning Media, Visual Access to Materials, Classroom Environment, Daily Listening Checks, Managing Devices, Strategies To Encourage Tolerance, SPICE Curriculum for Auditory Skill Development

Session 3

Developing Individual Holistic Communication Profiles on Learners who are Deafblind

Facilitator: Dr. Susan Bruce

October 11 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT

Topics: This workshop session will support you in developing a Holistic Communication Profile (Bruce, 2010, 2021) for a learner who is deafblind. This profile can be used to assess prelinguistic to early linguistic communicators. It addresses form (mode), function, content, context, and pivotal milestones related to communication achievements. You can modify the structure of the profile for learners of any age. Resources will be provided. 

*Additional consultation provided to teams who commit to completing assessment. 

Session 4

Self-Determination in Prelinguistic to Early Linguistic Communicators who are Deafblind

Presenter:  Dr. Susan Bruce, Boston College

October 25 3:00 to 4:30 pm EDT

Topics: This session will address the 8 Components of Self-Determination, with emphasis on: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation,
Authentic Choice-Making, Self-Advocacy, Self-Efficacy

Session 5

Classic Literacy Lessons for the Classroom and Home

Presenter:  Dr. Susan Bruce, Boston College

November 8 3:00 to 5:30 pm EDT


Story Boxes, Experience Books, and Shared Reading:
This session will address how to create and implement story boxes and experience books. Effective strategies for shared reading of both personalized and commercially produced books will be shared.

Schedules/Calendar Systems and Choice-Making:
Schedules and calendar systems are important contexts for building conversational skills about topics related to daily life. Participants in this session will learn how to develop different types of schedules and how to implement them well.

Session 6

Authentic Participation in Morning Meeting

Presenter:  Tracy Evans Luiselli, Helene Gallagher

November 16 3:00 to 4:30 pm EDT


Shared Activities
Group Activities
School Announcements
Establishing Classroom Culture
Supporting Transitions

Session 7

Developing IEPs for Deafblind Learners: Supporting Access to the Gen Ed Curriculum

Presenters: Tracy Evans Luiselli, Brenda Allair, Helene Gallagher

December 6 3:00-4:30 pm EDT

Topics: This session will address components of High-Quality IEPs, decisions regarding service delivery, and strategies to support access to the gen education curriculum.