The New England Consortium on Deafblindness is excited to introduce everyone to our new Lead Educational Consultant, Brenda!
Tell us a little about your background.
I’ve been passionate about education since my undergraduate studies, but it wasn’t until my youngest daughter was born that I learned more about the field of Early Intervention, and about the need for professionals who were knowledgeable in working with children with visual impairments and those with deafblindness. I spent several years working at the state level with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, supporting families to develop leadership skills to create systems change. During that time, I earned my Master’s Degree in Special Education, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, from UMass Boston, and then joined Community Programs at Perkins School for the Blind, teaching students who were being educated in their local school districts. I eventually became the Infant Toddler Coordinator in that program, working to ensure that all families of children birth-3 in Massachusetts with visual impairments were receiving the supports and services they needed to be successful. I’m thrilled to be joining the New England Consortium as the Lead Educational Consultant and look forward to working with families, students, and educational teams!
What do you love most about working in this field?
I love working in this field for so many reasons! No two days are ever the same, and there is always something new to learn. What I love most, though, is seeing the moment that a parent or a teacher begins to recognize how their child or student is learning, the moment that they realize how much possibility exists for their child. When a parent begins to understand the power of communicating about the world with their child, whether that’s through speech, or touch, or any of a variety of methods, they begin to embark on the adventure of learning together, and there is so much joy in that!
What’s one of your favorite memories from working with families?
Every single family I’ve met has taught me something about how to be a better teacher. Families are creative and resilient, and they often come up with innovative ways to support their child’s participation in activities and events. Families can also be each other’s best cheerleaders, acknowledging and celebrating alongside each other as their children reach new milestones and achieve new goals, however big or small.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I loved video games as a child and started playing them again during the pandemic. Now I sometimes compete against my older children!
You’ve got a day off, what are you doing?
Browsing an independent bookstore, as long as they also serve large mugs of coffee!