​   ​​The New England Consortium  for Deafblind Technical Assistance And Training (NEC)

                                                       A Deafblind Community of Practice

                              Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire

Southwick Zoo, August 9, 2017

Meet the Staff

Connecticut Contacts

Karen Olson, Educational Consultant


860-836-6300 | Phone

Karen received her M.Ed in Deafblind/Multihandicapped Education from Boston College. For over 30 years, she has worked with deaf and deafblind individuals of all ages. She has taught at Perkins School for the Blind inWatertown, MA and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf at Gallaudet University. In her current job, she works with infants, toddlers and children of all school ages who are deafblind or multidisabled, providing consultation, inservice training and support to families and educational teams

 Sonu Rangnekar, Family Specialist 
860-416-3280 | Phone

Sonu Rangnekar is a family Specialist with the New England Consortium for the Deaf Blind (NEC). Formerly, for almost 2 decades, Sonu worked in the area of International Development in several countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America with a focus on Economic development, Public Health and Child Welfare. Over the years, Sonu has been associated with a number of international organizations that work with underprivileged children. As a NEC Family Specialist, Sonu works with deaf blind and/or multiply disabled children, their families and educational teams. Her work in CT is focused on Post Secondary Transition planning process, that helps  young adults and their families prepare & plan for life after high school.

Sonu also works with the West Hartford Public schools as an interpreter for non-English speaking parents from some Asian countries, this also includes helping parents of special needs kids through the IEP development process. Sonu has a child with developmental disabilities & cortical visual impairment, who receives Special education in the West Hartford school system.

Maine Contacts

Kristen Shorey, Educational Consultant 

207-356-8024 | Phone

Kristen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Regular & Special Education in 1993 from Wheelock College. She completed her Master’s Degree in Special Education in June 2012. Kristen is a certified Special Educator and Teacher of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing. She has worked in the field of early intervention and special education for 21 years.  She also has extensive experience working with children on the autism spectrum,  augmentative communication, as well as children with multiple disabilities across all ages. Kristen is a strong advocate and is excited to work with families across Maine to identify and serve children with dual sensory needs. 

Donna Casavant, Educational Consultant 

207-735-5071 | Phone

​Donna Casavant received her Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Smith College and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Special Education: Early Intervention from the University of Maine.  She has worked in regular and special education for 29 years as a Teacher of the Deaf in residential and mainstream settings, as a secondary school Chemistry and World Language teacher, as an Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Therapist, and as an Educational Consultant.  

Massachusetts Contacts

Tracy Evans Luiselli, Project Director
617-972-7517 | Phone

Tracy received her M. Ed. in Deafblind Education at Boston College and her doctorate in Early Childhood/Special Education from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Tracy has experience teaching children who are deafblind in a variety of settings (e.g. public schools and home based settings). She served as adjunct faculty at Boston College and Simmons College. Tracy has presented and written extensively and is certified in Low Vision, Moderate Special Needs, Intensive Special Needs and Elementary Education.

​Linh Tran, Project Assistant

617-972-7515 I Phone

Linh Tran joined the NEC Team as a Project Assistant of March 2015. She came from a corporation that requires her to create orders into the system in a timely manner and also interface internal and external personnel.  She currently assists the Project Director in numerous administrative duties.  Linh will be taking your calls and answering any questions regarding NEC activities and trainings. 


Yariela Brandao, Family Specialist
​Yariela Brandao's supporting families with the deafblind children goes back to 1995 when she founded FUNPANISO, a Panamanian Association designed to support families of deafblind children in the Republic of Panama. Yariela's engagement with the deafblind community started when her own daughter was born deafblind as a result of being premature.  Yariela is an Human Resources Executive,  with experience in human services, transition to adult life, training, person center planning, and is particularly passionate about connecting with families of deafblind children.  Yariela can speak Spanish and some Portuguese and will be working with NEC/Perkins School to support families of deafblind children in the New England area. 

New Hampshire Contacts

Terry LeMaire, Educational Consultant

617-972-7515 I Phone

Terry has extensive experience with children who have sensory loss and additional disabilities

Susan Hollis, Family Specialist

Susan received her MSW from Boston University School of Social Work.  She also received a BS degree from Wheelock College specializing in Special Education.
Susan Hollis, LICSW, is a mom of two wonderful children who have a diagnosis of deaf-blindness.  She works as a Clinical Social Worker, in her own private practice, doing so for the past 20 years. Susan works with a variety of mental health challenges, and with families facing the challenges of raising a special needs child or family member. Susan worked as a Special Education Teacher prior to that, specializing with individuals who have developmental delays and sensory impairments. She has gotten a lot of joy working as one of the family specialist for NEC. All of these experiences enable her to be a strong advocate for her children and other families in New England.